JAPAN project and exhibition - 2018 APPEAl

In the studio at Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, 2017

As you may know, I travelled to Japan for the first time last year and experienced an incredible residency in ceramics at Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park (SCCP), one which dramatically changed me and my practice.

I have now been awarded a place again at SCCP in October 2018, to develop a specific project and importantly, my first exhibition in Japan.

This appeal will support all aspects of the project, and help deliver high quality outcomes in both Japan and the U.K.

The Work - 'Hibakujumoku'

Hibakujumoku is the Japanese term for 'Atomic Bombed Trees’ or ‘Survivor Trees'. It derives from the aftermath of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WW2, when a list was drawn up of the species that survived the impact and radiation. Bamboo was one of the species, and on my return from Shigaraki last year, I began experimenting with firing this material onto clay.


Test sample: Bamboo fired onto clay and fired to 1260 degrees

Why does this project matter?

This project develops significantly on my first trip to Japan: providing new artistic challenges, and furthering my understanding of Japan.

  • Travelling to Hiroshima for the first time, to gather the raw materials, will provide both authenticity and artistic direction for the project.
  • I will then use this experience to produce new ceramics works at Shigaraki, and undertake my first, solo, Japanese wood kiln firing.
  • The finished work will be presented in my first exhibition in Japan, at the Shigaraki Gallery, with the intention of also showing the work back in the U.K.

Towards the Exhibition Hall - Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park

Why now?

The success of the residency at Shigaraki in 2017 has created important momentum both for my work in ceramics and my international career.

I intend to build on this and nurture the positive contacts I have made with Japanese artists and institutions in Japan.

The long term ambition is to show work more widely in Japan and develop a deeper connection with the country.



Pine wood fuel for the Japanese wood kilns

£ Target

The total budget for the project is £3,500 which includes an economy return flight to Japan, travel to Hiroshima, accommodation at SCCP, ceramic works production, firing and the exhibition.

£1,920 has already been pledged and additional funds are being sought via public and private donations.

For a detailed budget, and to donate, please contact me direct.


Funding U.K. artists to make work abroad is challenging - there are limited resources and financial assistance.

I was privileged to receive a highly sought after grant from the Daiwa Foundation for my first trip, but now need to approach new funders for this project.  Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation have agreed to receive an application this year, and I am awaiting a decision in May.

Therefore, your help with this project will be particularly important this year.

Your assistance will not only benefit me, but through post-project activities such as talks and workshops, I will be sharing my experiences of Japan with a wide audience. 

My residency in 2017 was very well received, and was communicated across many platforms - from publication in Ceramic Review , to talks at the Royal West of England Academy (RWA), Daiwa Foundation and Spike Island Associates.

Several ceramics works inspired by my trip were subsequently selected for Open Exhibitions and Curated Collections.

This project aims to deliver a similar selection of high quality outcomes.


If you have any questions about this appeal, please do not hesitate to get in touch. 

Thank you in advance for your interest in this project.

Arigato Gozaimasu | ありがとうございます

DONATE* - Please contact me direct on info@amandachambers.co.uk

CIRCULATE - Please share this link with friends, colleagues, funding bodies.

*Donations of £500 and over will receive a unique ceramic work made in Japan.

Shigaraki Teabowl - Made in Japan, Fired in England, 2017 - Made in collaboration with Oxford University Anagama Project.

Copyright Amanda Chambers 2018

Image credit: Max McClure