Create your own Shisa Guardian Lion statuette while sipping on a unique cocktail in this workshop led by ceramicist Akiko Matsuda at Pantechnicon on Tuesday 14 September

Shisa are found all over the islands of Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost prefecture and a beautiful subtropical archipelago. The figures are an iconic part of the islands’ unique history and heritage, and can be found on rooftops and roadsides, in restaurants and workplaces. Believed to ward off bad luck and evil spirits, in the workshop Akiko will guide you through crafting a male (open mouth) or female (closed mouth) Shisa, telling you more about the symbolism of these island talismans as you make them. To give you a taste of Okinawa, each guest will be served a cocktail made with awamori, a unique rice-based spirit indigenous to the islands, as well as some Okinawan snacks sent all the way from the islands by Okinawa Tourism (Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau) which closely worked with Pantechnicon to develop this special experience.

Participants can take home their work unfired on the day, or for an extra fee of £15 Pantechnicon will arrange for the works to be glazed (transparent glaze) and fired. The firing process will take about one month. 

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Tickets cost £40 per person, including all materials to make your own shisa and an awamori cocktail. This workshop will be held twice, once at 14:00 and again at 18:00.

About the artist

Akiko Matsuda is a ceramic artist born in Kanagawa, Japan. Painting, calligraphy, music and pottery have been an important part of her life since she was a child. After attending a Shisa making workshop in Okinawa, Akiko was inspired to pursue a career in ceramics. She went on to major in ceramics at Tama Art University in Tokyo and her work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions across London and Tokyo.