Interview with mayumi yamashita

IMG_0939001I like ceramics a lot probably because I from Taiwan, surrounding beautiful handmade ceramics, I also love Japan design and culture too, that how I find Mayumi Yamashita design on Etsy, each design have their own personality and the nature color, warm texture, make me want to collect them all.

So today we are going to hear story of her design career and behind the scene of her brand, hope you enjoy!

Q:  What’s story behind your brand?

I studied ceramics in the UK and I would mainly make sculpture which represents ‘humanity’, but since being back to Japan I was having a real hard time to find the way to sell my sculpture.

So I then decided to start making functional ware as well as sculpture to make a living and I’ve taught myself all from scratch.

My career as a potter started rather unexpected way but I’m fully committed to it now and my pottery business seems finally make a start slowly but surely.

Ceramics/pottery makes me.

Q: Do you want to share your work place ?

My studio is used to be my grand’s house.

I like the combination of ‘traditional Japanese house’ and my ‘contemporary ceramics’.

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Q: What is your working schedule like?  

If I need to work until midnight, then I do. If I can’t take any day off, then I don’t.

Simple as that.

Q: Which type of material do you like to use the most and why?

I tried lots of different clays (we’ve got so many different types of clays in Japan!) , but now I mainly use ‘buff stoneware’ and ‘red stoneware’ and I sometimes mix different types of clay to get the finish I like.

Since I found out ‘black mica’ creates interesting rusty speckle, I like to mix it into the red cay.

IMG_9515Q: Which piece is your favorite or sells the best?

I love to make teapot and lidded pieces, something with ‘lid’

So I can play with the colour combinations and also I very much enjoy all the making processes.

Teapot is the priciest piece of my work but pretty much all the teapots I made found new home so far.

Q: Where does your inspiration come from?

Hmm…inspiration comes from everything really.

You can see what sort of things inspire me on my pinterest (pinterest is great tool to make me realize

what sort of things I like and inspire me. Don’t you think?)

IMG_0895001Q: Do you remember when you sold your first item and how you felt?

I vividly remember when I sold my pottery very first time on my Etsy shop and I was chuffed about it.

Slovakian Art director purchased one of my lidded jar and he liked it and he also liked the Japanese newspaper I put in the box as cushion :D.

Q: What’s the hardest part of your design career?

To get my work noticed as professional is probably the hardest part.

It never be easy to stand out among the other great potters but I’m seeking the chance I could get to show my work.

Q: Which part of working do you enjoy the most?

I love carving leather hard clay. It feels great!

I’ve got a callus on my middle finger from carving so much with the carving tools

IMG_1006Q: What it your next project?

I’m taking part in a craft fair in October in Japan.

I’m really looking forward to seeing and chatting with other makers and visitors at the fair and my pottery will be soon available at a lovely tea shop in US.  How excited!  I hope my tea wares could ‘WOW’ tea lovers.

Q: What kind of books do you like to read, and what kind of music do you like? (or some other hobby you like)

I can’t work without music or even noise.  Loud music (punk, rock and metal) keeps me going when I’m on a potter’s wheel

and listening to (not watching tho) my favorite comedy program’s DVD keeps me waking up when I’m doing rather boring stuff.

IMG_1013Q: If you were not a designer, what do you think you would be?

I sometimes think about if I have to remove your both arms because of accident or illness and I can’t keep making, then what would I do?’

My answer is always that I would study some more languages and work at international airport.’

because I love to be at airport (of course ‘traveling’ as well), to chat with the people who may never see again and to witness all the dramas happen at there.

Happiness, sadness, nervousness and excitement…etc airport is filled with all the feelings of humanity and I love air planes!

or travel photographer.

Traveling around the world like a rootless tree until the day I die would be nice…

Q:If young people want to follow the same path as you, what would you suggest?

You need to be dedicated to what you do if you decided to choose ceramics/pottery as your career and whatever happen, just keep on making what you like (such as something you want at your home) rather than what you think easier to sell.

so then your work would be noticed by someone and it reads to another and another…and you would feel that your hard work paying off and gaining confidence.

It may be slowly but surely, trust me!   

IMG_9117Q: Is there anything you want to share with us?

I’ve just made my facebook page ‘mayumi yamashita ceramics’.

Please like my page and check out what I’m working on.

Official Site  |  Etsy Shop


Thanks for Mayumi take time share stories with us, and don’t forget to say Hi to their Facebook, all the artist like your kindly support!

All the picture belong to Mayumi Yamashita.

# I’m sorry about the inconvenience to read and late post recently, some how the plugin not really working so well for my site now, so I am apologize that, and hoping everything will go back to normal soon. Thanks again!