The Tamba Project: Restoring Connections through Clay

By Lisa Orgler in Art Business Advice > Motivation


A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.
–Aldo Leopold, author of A Sand County Almanac

Can you imagine living in a place where the food in the restaurant was grown by people you know and served on ceramicware made by artisans from your community?

What if you could take it a step further and create a cycle of sustainability through taking only the things you need: like fallen and coppiced trees instead of the whole forest; borrowing from a fishing bank instead of overfishing; creating products that are durable or can be mended instead of thrown away?

In Japan, this way of life is called “satoyama” and this is the core of The Tamba Project: Restoring Connections through Clay, a new Kickstarter campaign.


The Tamba Project evolved from a team of artists and writers including Sean Ponder, Chloe Rahimzadeh, Christian Morris, Han Haley Nguyen and Stephanie Garcia. Their vision is to provide a sustainable community model that can be used anywhere. This model is based on the connections between ceramics, nature and community in the village of Tamba, Japan and the idea of satoyama.

The team describes satoyama on their Facebook page “as a semi-managed landscape that surrounds small, rural villages. These satoyama landscapes have served as the source of numerous resources for the villagers for hundreds of years. As time has [passed], these landscapes are degrading and becoming overgrown due to many different factors, [including] aging population, low birth rate, and the surge of youth into big cities in search for an alternative means of life. As a result of this, the aging villagers are no longer able to keep the land in check. With these mosaic landscapes, everything else does not work together as well.”

This group hopes to restore this process by inviting artists, scientists and writers to explore the interactions between ecology and humanity in a newly established artist’s residency in the ceramic village of Tamba, Japan. The first step is to rehabilitate a studio that was unused for ten years. Over time they hope the residency project will help support the local economy.


The Tamba Project’s monetary goal is a very achievable $15,000. If you would like to support this inspiring project please visit their Kickstarter page prior to Wednesday, June 3, 2015.


We'll send you articles & tutorials right as we publish them, so you never miss a post! Unsubscribe here at any time.


This post may contain affiliate links.