Oral history interview with Hiroko Sato Pijanowski, 2003 May 13-15
Pijanowski, Hiroko Sato, 1942-
Fisch, Arline M., 1931-
Cranbrook Academy of Art
University of Michigan
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Transcript: 123 pages.
Originally recorded on 6 sound discs. Reformated in 2010 as 11 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 42 min.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Hiroko Sato Pijanowski conducted 2003 May 13-15, by Arline F. Fisch, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Pijanowski speaks of her American/Japanese identity; childhood in Japan and her small family; the Christian schools she attended; Geidai University; learning Japanese jewelry design in the U.S.; attending Cranbrook Academy of Art; her thesis on line-inlay, a Japanese technique; meeting Eugene (Gene) Pijanowski, her future husband, at Cranbrook; life in Japan with Gene; moving back to the U.S.; her teaching philosophy; teaching at the University of Michigan; computers and other technological advances that have changed the way metals are taught; her presentation at a 1999 SNAG conference, "A Look Into the Future: The Implementation of Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing for Metalsmiths"; the importance of sharing information; her creative work and its relation to teaching; working with Japanese paper cord [mizuhiki]; Zen philosophy; her reoccurring childhood dreams; her line of jewelry "Hiroko Sato Pijanowski"; and the different types of molds she has made in wax, silicon, and rubber. Pijanowski also discusses jewelry tradeshows; her series Gentle Solitude; Issey Miyake's approach to design and his influence; her haiku club; orchids as inspiration; scuba diving experiences; the World Crafts Conference in Kyoto in 1978; the importance of exhibitions, such as "International Jewelry" in Vienna and "Poetry of the Physical" at the American Craft Museum, New York; galleries such as Helen Drutt in Philadelphia and Yaw Gallery in Michigan; the custom of "renting a gallery space" in Japan; and she concludes the interview with a discussion of the effects of of her depression. Pijanowski also recalls Ruth Taubman, Jim Hopfensperger, Leslie Leupp, Michael Rodemer; Stanley Lechtzin, Herman Junger, Albert Paley, David Watkins, Bob Ebendorf, Otto Kunzli, Michael Rowe, and others.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Hiroko Sato Pijanowski, 2003 May 13-15. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for this interview was provided by the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America. Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
Hiroko Sato Pijasnowski (1942- ) is a metalsmith from Honolulu, Hawaii. Arline M. Fisch is a jeweler.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001