Dan Kunnecke - Tableware
Dan Kunnecke
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Dan Kunnecke

Portland, OR

"I live in NE Portland, and make and fire my work at my home studio.
I grew up in Japan, and my work is heavily influenced by my upbringing and frequent trips as a teenager to the pottery village of Mashiko, about 2 hours outside of Tokyo.
I love making beautiful things that require an investment of skill, time, and effort.

Kaneki - my German/Kentuckyfied name (Kunnecke) spelled out as it sounds in Japanese.

I sign the bottom of my pots with 2 kanji: "kane" (money or gold) and "ki" (tree) because I grew up in Japan, and the first potter I ever really became conscious of lived down the road from our house, in the town of Higashi-Kurume. He had a sweet little studio right along the Kurome Gawa ("Black-eyed River"). It was mother's day and I stopped by his studio on my way home and asked if he had any pottery for sale. He asked me why I wanted to buy his pots. "Well, it's Mother's Day, and I wanted to get my mom a present"... His tone changed and he looked bemused instead of annoyed, and so I asked, "How much are these pots?" and he looked at me (I was 16 years old) and said "How much do you have?"

I had $10 on me. He pointed to a shelf full of pots and said "All of those are $10."

Later, I found out he's a National Living Treasure in Japan. His name is Nukui. His pots are worth many times what I paid. He fired some pottery for a make-shift pottery art class that I campaigned for at my high school in his gas kiln by the river. He saw my moniker - the "kaneki" kanji - and said he liked it, so it stuck."