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Joan Takayama-Ogawa

Joan Takayama-Ogawa
Teaches In
Creative Action

Master of Arts, (Education), Stanford University, Palo Alto, California
Bachelor of Arts, (Geography and East Asian Studies), University of California, Los Angeles

Otis College of Art and Design, (Ceramics), Los Angeles, California
International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan


“Creative people know that what is ‘work’ is nothing of the sort. To understand what an artist does, is to consider the whole of his/her existence. The dedication borders on obsession . .”
Joan Takayama-Ogawa

Joan Takayama-Ogawa’s comes from a family whose involvement in ceramics goes back six generations. She studied under the renowned Ralph Bacerra and went on to develop work that used ancient Japanese ceramic forms as a guide in creating contemporary pieces that utilize decoration and imagery of an American lifestyle.  She continues to push the boundaries of ceramics by integrating clay with digital and rapid prototyping technologies.

Her ceramics are in the permanent collections of the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, deYoung Museum Fine Arts Museum in San Francisco, World Ceramic Exposition Foundation, Icheon, South Korea, Princessehof Leewarden Nationaal Keramiek Museum, Leeuwarden, Netherlands, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Oakland Museum of California, Long Beach Museum of Art, American Museum of Ceramic Art, Racine Art Museum, George Ohr Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana, Hallmark Collection, and Celestial Seasoning Tea Company.

She served as a Pasadena Design Commissioner and on the Board of Directors, American Museum of Ceramic Art. In 2007, she received a Center of Cultural Innovation Investing in Arts Equipment Grant to purchase a large, new front loading energy efficient grant. In  2004, she was Otis Teacher of the Year and Commencement Speaker.  Publications:  Over 30 books and magazines.



Otis Faculty Development Grants: Fall 2015, Fall 2013, Spring 2010, Spring 2006
Otis TLC Technology Grant: 2006

Professional Accomplishments/Exhibitions:  

Public Collections

  • Smithsonian Institution, Renwick Gallery, Washington DC.
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California
  • deYoung Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California
  • Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, California
  • Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, California
  • American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, California
  • World Ceramic Exposition Foundation, Icheon, South Korea
  • Princessehof Leewarden Nationaal Keramiek Museum, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
  • Newark Art Museum, Newark, New York
  • Racine Art Museum, Racine, Wisconsin
  • Stanford University Cantor Art Center, Stanford, California
  • Utah State University, Logan, Utah    
  • Hallmark Collection, Kansas City, Kansas 
  • George Ohr Museum, Biloxi, Mississippi

Solo Exhibitions

2021  Craft in America Study Center, LA, CA.  Joan Takayama-Ogawa, Survey
2020  Craft in America Study Center, LA, CA  Joan Takayama-Ogawa: Climate Change
2019  Themes and Projects Gallery, San Francisco, CA.  Joan Takayama-Ogawa, Mimbre Inspired Vessels
2018  Themes and Projects Gallery, San Francisco, CA.  Joan Takayama-Ogawa: Global Warming

Selected Group Exhibitions

2020   Craft in America Study Center, “Democracy,”, Los Angeles, California
            Department of Cultural Affairs,“Climate Change,” LAX Southwest Terminal, Los Angeles, California
2016   Flint Art Institute, “Function, Form, and Fantasy: Ceramics from the Dr. Robert and Deanna Harris Burger Collection,” Flint, Michigan
2015   Long Beach Museum of Art, “Small Treasures,” Long Beach, California
2014   Racine Art Museum, Racine, Wisconsin. “White Gold: The Appeal of Lustre”
2013   Orange County Sheriff Department Officer Memorial, Tustin, California
2011   American Museum of Ceramic Art, “Post Digital Ceramics,” Pomona, California
2010   OBJCT Gallery, “Design Process, Mentors and NexGen Makers” Curator: Jo Lauria, Claremont, California
2007   deYoung Museum, “The Diane Sandy and Besser Collection: A Gift to the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco,” San Francisco, California  
2006   Holter Museum of Art, “Yixing Effect,” Helena, Montana
            Kentucky Museum of Art and Design, “Life Insight: The Human Experience,” curator Gail Brown, Louisville, Kentucky 
2005   3rd Ceramic Biennale 2005 Korea, "Delightful Teapot," Icheon, South Korea          
           Garth Clark Gallery, “Homage to Ralph Bacerra,” New York, New York
2004   Princessehof Leeuwarden Museum, “Deliciously Decadent,” Leeuwarden, Netherlands
2003   Lancaster Museum of Art, “Crafts National,”  Lancaster Pennsylvania
2001   Mint Museum of Craft and Design, “Mint Condition Gala: Auction of the Rare, Unusual and Unobtainable,” Charlotte, North Carolina
2000   Los Angeles County Art Museum, “Color and Fire,” Los Angeles, California
1998   Carnegie Museum of Art, “Pittsburgh Collects Clay,” Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1997   Northern Arizona University Art Museum, Color and Lowfire Processes Color and Image, Flagstaff, Arizona
           Ceramics Arts Foundation, “Night of 101 Cups,” New York, New York
           The Sybaris Gallery, “Cup as a Metaphor: Works in Clay,” Royal Oak, Michigan
1994   Islip Art Museum, "I'm a Little Teapot...," East Islip, New York   
            Nancy Margolis Gallery, “Extravagant Teapots,” New York, New York
1993   American Craft Museum, "Tea Party," New York, New York
1992   Pasadena Armory of the Arts, "Transformed in Clay," Pasadena, California
1990   San Angelo Museum of Fine Art, "Monarch Tile Competition," San Angelo, Texas
1989   Downey Museum of Art, "Ceramics Now," Downey, California


American Craft Magazine. “Joan Takayama-Ogawa,” Portfolio, April/May 1996.
Clark, Garth. The Artful Teapot, Thames and Hudson, Great Britain, 2001.
Clayton, Peirce. The Clay Lover’s Guide to Making Molds. Lark Books: Asheville, North Carolina. 1998.
Ferrin, Leslie. Teapots Transformed., 2000.
Flint Institute of Arts. Function, Form, and Fantasy: Ceramics from the Dr. Robert and Deanna Harris Burger Collection, Tracee J. Glabb and Janet Koplos essays, 2016.
Lauria, Jo. Color and Fire Defining Moments in Studio Ceramics 1950-2000, Rizzoli International Publications, New York. 2000.
Levin, Elaine. "Keiko Fukazawa and Joan Takayama-Ogawa: A Confluence of American and Japanese Cultures," Ceramics Monthly. December 1994.
Lovelace, Joyce. "The Ubiquitous Teapot." American Craft. April/ May 1994.
Ostermann, Matthias. The Ceramic Surface. A & C Black Publishers Ltd. London, England.
Ostermann, Matthias. Masters: Earthenware Major Works by Leading Artists, Lark  Books. New York. 2010.
Perry, Sara. The Tea Book. Chronicle Books: San Francisco, California. 1993.
Peterson, Susan. The Craft and Art of Clay, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.1992.
Peterson, Susan. Contemporary Ceramics. Watson-Guptill Publications, New York. 2000.
Peterson, Susan. Smashing Glazes., 2001.
Peterson, Susan. Working with Clay, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. 1998.
Seckler, Judy. "Recollecting the Past Joan Takayama-Ogawa's Wit and Whimsy." Ceramics Monthly. February 2005, pp. 37-41.
Seckler, Judy. “Tea Time.” Pasadena Weekly. July 15, 1999. p.11.
Snyder, Jeffrey B. editor. Ceramics Today. Schiffer Publishing, Pennsylvania. 2010.
Triplett, Kathy. Handbuilt Ceramics. Lark Books, North Carolina. 1997.
Watabe, Hiroko. "Joan Takayama-Ogawa: Japanese Inspired, American-Fired." Pronto. May 1990. (in Japanese English translation available)

Clients/Employment History:  

1979-1985: Crossroads School, Santa Monica, CaliforniaAcademic Dean and faculty.
1985-Present: Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, California; Associate Professor, Ceramics, Product Design, Ceramic Coordinator, English, Public Speaking
1990-Present: Ferrin Gallery artist
2009 to Present: Shibui Designs Partner,