about us

When Laurie and I started Glenn Richards in 1998 Laurie took one look at the large space filled with all kinds of old Japanese furniture and art and said, “this would be a great place to show contemporary handmade pottery”. Many years ago Laurie had supported me through art school and had helped sell my pots at innumerable street fairs throughout the State. The appreciation of pottery and the difficulty of supporting oneself on a potter’s salary was something she knew about. Twenty two years later the idea of supporting local potters by showing off their work within the context of Japanese furnishings proved to be too irresistible to resist.

In 1972, when Laurie and I first met, I was eighteen years old and two months away from starting my sophomore year at Callison College, a small experimental school in Stockton, California. Instead of Stockton I found myself in Kyoto, Japan enrolling in Kansai Geijitsu Daigaku (The Art College of Kansai). I had been to Thailand to visit my father who was working for the World Bank at the time and on the way back to California had stopped in Japan to revisit the country of my birth. I found myself falling in love with the arts of Japan and instead, settled in Kyoto where I could attend the Kansai Art University. After my first semester I traveled south to explore the Korean influenced kilns of Kyushu, Japan’s Southernmost Island. There I discovered the beautiful mountainous region around Fukuoka and became the first foreign apprentice to the well know ceramicist Seizan Takatori. The Takatori kilns were located just outside the small mountain villages of Koishiwara and Onda which were famous throughout Japan for their folk art ceramics.

This was my first introduction to the world of Japanese Mingei pottery and it has since become a passion that both Laurie and I share.

John & Laurie Fairman