burton art gallery and museum
gallery highlights




Kingsley Road, Bideford, Devon EX39 2QQ

Telephone: 01237 471455
Email: info@theburton.org

Admission is Free
Open Daily 10am - 4pm
Sundays 11am - 4pm





Cross Tree Pottery has been the workplace of Japanese-born potter Yasuharu Tajima (known as Taja) since 1983.

Taja was trained as a painter in his native Japan, working mainly in oils, influenced especially by Gaugin. He started working in clay when he came to England in 1981.

He is largely self-taught as a potter and brings to the craft the fresh eye of the painter and a practical ingenuity.

Working in slip-decorated earthenware, Taja makes unusual functional tableware and one off sculptural pieces. Some work is made on the wheel and the sculptural work is hand-built from slabs of clay. The hand-built pieces include fish, mermaids, boats and figures. A sensitive use of colour enriches the lively forms.

The individuality of Taja’s work is very much a reflection of the unusual circumstances in which he finds himself. His life appears to be one of many contrasts, not the least that he describes how he was born and educated in Japan, yet now lives and works in Moretonhampstead in Devon and creates his work using an intrinsically European technique. His pots have a great vivacity and freshness, possibly springing from the tension of the two very different cultures in which he has spent his life.

Taja is a member of the Craft Potters Association, the Devon Guild of Craftsmen and is on the Crafts Council Selected Index.

lottery funded