Taja came over to UK from his native country Japan to study oil painting and settled in Devon over 40 years ago. He was inspired by many potters in the south west, so he started making pots using his friend’s pottery workshop. He is largely self-taught. Taja found that slab and coil built pottery suited him the most. He started experimenting with porcelain clay about 20 years ago after being inspired by the enormous blue porcelain wall tiles at a new Japanese airport. He was particularly drawn to the water-like quality of the blue glaze.

A grant from Arts Council England in 2008 enabled him to develop his original blue porcelain glazes for his sculptural slab-built porcelain pieces as well as tableware. With this grant he tested over 200 different glazes.

His inspirations usually come from the shapes of off-cut slabs. He creates small sculptural slab-built porcelain pieces using these off-cut slabs. The blue colour of the glazes come from a small amount (0.8%) of iron oxide in a clear glaze which transforms from orange to blue in reduction firing in his gas kiln.

He likes to create work where he just follows the nature of clay.