This small gaggle of co-joined birds is the work of Tommy Kakinuma. He was born in Japan in 1908 and came to Canada in 1937. After working in several jobs, he moved to Toronto to study art and graduated from O.C.A. in 1947. Because of the internment of the Japanese Canadians on the west coast during WW2, Tommy decided to stay in eastern Canada. He also turned his focus to pottery after finding painting sales a struggle. Eventually, he moved back out west to Burnaby, B.C. He pottery enjoyed great success especially in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Tommy was a master of many types of pottery including sculpture, functional and decorative wares, and small figurines of animals.

He favoured stoneware clay and used an electric kiln. The signature/mark depicted here is one of several. It is a joined TK. This work reflects a minimalist style. Tommy Kakinuma passed away in 1982.

His work isn’t easy to find and is actively sought by collectors. There is a good full biography of Tommy on website.