Mari Emori Ceramics
I have worked in multiple design fields, such as graphic design, interior design, and kimono design. Each area of design that I have explored has helped me to hone the discipline and skills that I now use to create artworks in clay.
I have a studio at the Berkeley Potters Guild where I create both sculptural and functional ceramic work. Currently 21 professional ceramic artists share the industrial space, each working from their private studios.
What type of clay do you use?
What temperature do you fire to?
cone 6 reduction, cone 10 reduction
What is your primary forming method?
What is your favorite surface treatment?
Sgraffito, wax resist
Do you make any of your own tools?
Not really, although I do make some modifications to existing tools.
What one word would you use to describe your work?
What is your favorite thing about your studio?
Small, but efficient.
What is the one thing in your studio you can’t live without?
What are your top three studio wishes?
New gas kiln, spray booth, more space
What’s on your current reading list?
The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley, Labyrinth by Kate Mosse.
How do you save money on materials and supplies?
How do you recharge creatively?
By traveling and exploring the world to get inspiration. By hiking and practicing yoga on a regular basis to strengthen my physical and mental wellness.
Do you have any DIY tips for studio efficiency?
Use a mobile hydraulic lift table under your wheel to work at an efficient height. Put wheels on all heavy equipment for quick space reorganization.
What challenges have you given yourself to overcome?
I have challenged myself to make small sellable items, in addition to my larger vessels and sculpture works.
What did your first piece look like?
Small totem inspired by Peter Voulkos’s work. Handbuilt with 4 vessels and 1 sphere, which were thrown on a pottery wheel first, and then assembled.
What ceramic superpower would you have and why?
I would love to have the gift of speed to be able to work more quickly, especially on the pottery wheel.
Who is your ceramic art mentor and why?
Clayton Thiel, who introduced me to sculpture when I felt limitation with the pottery wheel.
What is your studio playlist?
Anything with an upbeat rhythm
Why do you create art?
Creating art is a vehicle for me to express myself—my aesthetic, experience, and emotion.
What is your best studio tip?
Utilize the space efficiently. Don't keep or store something you don't use.
If you could change one property of clay, what would it be?
Weight—I’d make it lighter.