Tomita Mikiko's ceramic objects, with their glistening gold- and rouge-enameled surfaces, convey an exoticism far removed from traditional Japanese motifs. As the artist has said, "When I was small, my father's profession moved my family to Portugal. The Islamic culture and the arabesque patterns I experienced there, as well as the photographs of tiny cells and organisms I saw while reading through my father's science magazines...left a great impression on me. I wish to emulate these flowing patterns of life within the over-glaze motifs of my works."
Tomita is one of a new generation of young Japanese artists who possess extraordinary technical abilities to create forms or designs with the utmost precision. Tomita's prowess with traditional iro-e over-glaze enamel painting is apparent in the immaculately elaborate patterns that embellish her forms. Tomita's forms are hand-pinched from semi-porcelain clay. After over-glaze is applied, the work is fired. Enamels are painted onto the ceramic surfaces with a paper-thin brush, with gold decorations applied in the final stage.
The highly ornate and affluent design of Tomita’s ceramics puts them at a distance from other traditionally elementary Japanese work in her field — the artist highly influenced by Islamic architecture and pattern after contact in Portugal at a young age. ‘Infinity’ fuses two baubles, their exterior furnished with a delicately tuned barnacle embellishment that recall organic patterns - the depth of their profile raised with careful application of traditional “iro-e” coloured enamel, and gold decoration added at the final stage of production.