Makiko Hastings is based in a small Yorkshire town in the UK, where her little pottery garden studio is located. She currently makes two collections of tableware, one with blue and white whimsical designs and another with beautiful four colors of handmade glaze. She works with stoneware, mostly hand-thrown on a wheel. Her passion for tableware is strongly influenced by the food culture from her native Japan. On Heiter Magazine she says this about self-employment:
“Being my own boss is certainly an advantage! I had worked for an organisation for a long time, and there were times where I felt I was going nowhere (because of the management system). I like the fact that I don’t have to bang my head against a wall anymore for such reasons. Of course there are difficult times being self-employed and you have to work hard. But having control over how I work is great.”
“Another good thing is flexibility. Whilst before I had to juggle a lot to take time off work, but now I can organise my time without much restriction, so that I can arrange to come and see my daughter’s show at school etc. and sometime I can take a day off to go to ceramic events, which I did a couple of times this year and it was great!”
“Lack of time is the most challenging part for me. At the moment, my girl is in her first year at school, so she still needs me quite a lot. So I can only work during her school hours and when my husband is available to look after her in the eveving or on the weekend. I never have enough time for the making process, but I guess lack of time is everyone’s challenge. Pottery is time consuming, and you need to get work done at the right condition of clay, so balancing timing within your limited time is hard.”
More of her work can be found on her website, Facebook and Instagram.
Images: Courtesy of Makiko Hastings.
Hyakuyo Arii graduated from Osaka University of Arts, Department of Design. She worked as a planning designer at a stuffed toy and stationery company, then at a printing company, and a design office. Currently she is active as a freelancer. In 2012 she started her ceramic company, Arii Mimosa Pottery. Each of the molding and hand-painted words and motifs is created through a number of processes. Her creation motifs of Western antiques and religious elements often including Latin words.
More of her work can be viewed on her website and Instagram.
Images: Courtesy of Arii Momoya Pottery.
The creator of these beautiful ceramic pieces is Hessa Al Ajmani, an Emirati visual artist born in Abu Dhabi and based in Ajman. She graduated from Zayed University in 2016 with a BFA in Visual Arts and Applied Psychology. All of her ceramic pieces are meticulously hand-built using clay slabs. While a wheel-thrown piece normally takes a few minutes to make, a slab-built dish can take hours, if not days. She gathers small flowers and fronds from her mother’s garden where she presses the groupings onto her earthenware and stoneware pieces, leaving simple and realistic imprints. After the clay is fired she hand-paints the tiny imprints. On the website, Frankie, she explains plant sources and the meaning of her work:
“Most of the plants I use are handpicked from the desert or my mother’s herb and vegetable garden, which means that producing my ceramics takes seasons to grow, nurture and build. I consider nature to be a key collaborator in my work and I have to be flexible with what it offers me. I’m also currently looking for ways to harvest clay locally.”
“Picking plants and wildflowers, and impressing them onto functional pieces is my way of researching and understanding more about the native flora from the deserts of the UAE. All in all, my work relies heavily on the notion of homeland vs. one’s conscious choice to be in it.”
The artist can be followed on her website and Instagram. Some of her work can be purchased on Spotify.
Images: Courtesy of Hessa Al Ajmani.