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Jill Fanshawe Kato


Jill Fanshawe Kato started drawing at an early age. Her interest in the natural world was awakened at the age of ten, when her family moved from Nottingham to the small Devonshire village of Kingskerswell, near Torquay. She cared for numerous injured or orphaned wild birds and animals and thus started her lifelong love of nature which can be seen today in her ceramics. She graduated in Painting from Chelsea School of Art, London, then gained an Art Teacher’s Certificate. After a period of teaching, she had the opportunity to visit Tokyo, Japan. Jill joined the school of potter Yosei Itaka and began to study Japanese pottery.

Returning to London in 1977, She established her first studio with a grant from the Crafts Council. Since then, she has lived and worked in north London with her husband, Japanese photo-journalist Setsuo Kato. She continues to exhibit in Japan, with well over 40 exhibitions there, mainly in Tokyo but also in Okinawa. She has exhibited widely internationally and across the UK.

Her ceramics are inspired by the natural world and by travel. Jill’s making processes include coiling, slabbing, sculpting, using moulds and throwing and altering. Slips and glazes are applied for colour, which she constantly experiments with. Jill Fanshawe Kato uses a range of stoneware clays and is currently experimenting with additions of River Dart clay, fired to 1270 degrees c. in a Laser gas kiln. Some raku pottery is also made.