Artist Q&A: Ayumi Horie on Using Industrial Processes in Handmade Pottery

How do you retain the warmth of a handmade object when using industrial processes? Can a machine contribute its own unique warmth?

ayumi horie

Ayumi Horie is known for making pottery with loose, gestural qualities that celebrate the marks of the maker. She does not try to hide what some would consider to be flaws including the finger marks when she dips her pieces in slip. She wondered what would happen to that handmade warmth of her pots if she started using industrial processes to help cut down on the wear and tear on her body.

When she began to use a ram press to make her ramen bowls, about 25% of the pieces would warp. She wondered, was the mold misaligned, was it happening in the drying process? Drawing on her Japanese heritage, she decided to create a yokai, or monster/supernatural creature, who was responsible for any mysterious faults created in the making process. Ayumi’s yokai, Menbachi Bozu (or Noodle Bowl Boy) breaks into the studio at night and causes mischief. Can a machine contribute to the warmth of a handmade object? Yes, indeed! – Jennifer Poellot Harnetty, editor.


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Ayumi Horie is a full-time studio potter from Portland, Maine who makes functional pots, mainly with drawings of animals. Her work is in various collections throughout the US, including the Museum of Art and Design in New York City. To learn more about Ayumi Horie and see more images of her work, please visit http://ayumihorie.com/.


Want more Ayumi Horie content?

Click here to see how she makes her “white pots.”

In this video, Ayumi shares an interesting way to pack multiple pots for shipping.

In this Artist Q&A, Ayumi discusses the expectations of cost and value of her work.

Have you incorporated any industrial processes into your studio work? What effect did it have on your work? Leave your answers in the comments below–we’d love to hear them!

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