Pottery by Momoko Takeshita KeaneSeveral years ago we became acquainted with the distinctive work of Ithaca potter Momoko Takeshita Keane and acquired one of her whimsical hand-built vases.  This weekend we saw that she was, as usual, participating in the annual Ithaca Art Trail so we stopped in to see the work she has evolved since we last visited her studio.  We were quite taken by the wood-fired hand-built pieces she has been making that are inspired by the concept of birth or unfolding of life such as in sea urchins.

We couldn’t resist: we bought this work with its entrancing intricate curves and textures and the beautiful blend of pastel earth-tone colors.

Wrapping for pottery pieceMomoko was born in Kyoto and studied pottery in Japan until she accompanied her family to Ithaca several years ago.  Her Japanese roots are manifested in her creative wrapping of the piece for its journey home with us.

Photographing The Pottery Piece

The work was placed on a piece of white tile board (inexpensively available from any home center) and lit from above by a soft box placed forward of the piece and slightly angled toward the camera to enable the gray gradient of the background.  An accent light at low power and with 20° grid was placed behind and camera right.  It’s a simple and effective way to create diffuse light on the subject and get a smooth gradient background at the same time.