Terunobu Hirata is a Melbourne based ceramicist who has been working with clay for over 20 years. Studying at the Warrandyte Potter’s Cottage in the early 1990’s, he originally trained as a chef and for many years worked at Kuni – one of Australia's longest running Japanese restaurants. Refining his technique and skill over many years, Hirata has also studied alongside a number of traditional ceramicists in Japan, and cites a particular influence in Japanese Bizen pottery, one of oldest pottery techniques in Japan. Named after the village of Imbe in Okayama prefecture, formerly known as Bizen Province, Bizen is typically minimal in form and characterised by attention to the clay body and use of kiln affects to create surface texture rather than glazing.
Hirata's history as both a chef and potter has meant that the ‘function’ of his work is essential to his practice and each piece is made with careful consideration of both its form and function. There is an awareness of detail and balance in Hirata’s work which means they are as beautiful to use as they are in appearance.