Japanese, born 1952
Unlike many Japanese studio potters, Hiroyuki Wakimoto was not born into a family of ceramic artists. A native of Nagasaki, he studied textile design in college, but after graduation entered an apprenticeship with a leading master of Bizen ware. He built his own kiln in 1990 and immediately began winning prizes at national competitions, a rare accomplishment for someone outside hereditary circles of Bizen potters. He has set new directions and standards with innovative works inspired by ancient Japanese and Chinese pottery, and pioneered exploration of composite forms fired in different parts of the kiln to achieve contrasting colors and decorations.