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Monday, September 26, 2005


Originally uploaded by Andy Titcomb.

Internationally known ceramist Yoshiro Ikeda was felled by a stroke last December. He almost gave up his art -- until it saved him.
When Yoshiro Ikeda suffered a stroke a year ago, the aftereffects barely slowed him down.
The internationally recognized artist -- he is head of the ceramics department at Kansas State University -- continued to shape clay vessels and teapots by hand. He continued to decorate them with glazes of his own concoction, and loaded them into the kiln for firing. He often repeated the process, adding marks and layers of colors to his designs.
The stroke a year ago didn't bother Ikeda too much, he said. But he had a second stroke last December.
"The second one really hurts," Ikeda said by phone from his office at KSU earlier this month. "I cannot speak right; balance was terrible, walking was terrible. I thought about quitting everything."
Proof that he didn't is on view at Trish Higgins Fine Art at Inn at the Park on Douglas Avenue. Sitting in the parlor of the neoclassic bed-and-breakfast are five ceramic vessels made by Ikeda last summer.
Ikeda's spirit was put to the test when his body failed him last December. It was his physician who encouraged him to keep working with clay.
His art became his physical therapy. His condition has improved.
"I never take a break," Ikeda said. "I am making work continually. I never slow down."
Original article by CHRIS SHULL for The Wichita Eagle


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