Ayumi Horie is a potter

Based in Portland, Maine, Ayumi Horie believes that good handmade pots encourage connections between people and make daily life better. Her activism and advocacy promote thoughtful craft practice and support for makers around the world.

Making Work in Maine

What does it matter where work is made? It matters because a nest to work from generates better work. Maine has shaped my identity and infused my work with its values.

There is a way in which Maine fosters both solitude and community. Introspection is natural on a foggy morning or during a walk through a cushy pine forest. It is this inner narrative that inspires my drawings of animals and their relationships to each other. Community, solitude’s counterpoint, crosses boundaries more easily in Maine, where people are tied to together by long winters and summer campfires that need marshmallow roasters to populate them. Potlucks are big here and it’s handmade pots that make the experience more authentic. Because pots are all about creating connections between people, it’s logical that my work is inspired by a place so strong in community.

I love being part of Maine’s long legacy of excellent craftsmanship. From small objects like antique pie crust crimpers to massive historic buildings, Maine’s domestic and public landscapes are inhabited by beautiful, well-made objects. In my own making, I pay attention to detail and try hard to craft functional dishes that will last through generations and serve both a physical need and a social function.

More than in other places, Maine is a place of small lovely moments because nature is more easily accessed in this state. Being able to get to the ocean quickly to feel the sticky cleanness of it and being able to see the stars easily are just two of the many things that make me feel good and alive in this material world. Maine is full of these moments. I want to both experience more of these lovely moments and generate more of them for other people through my work.

From the Blog

1 January

Slow Pots

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Slow Pots

I made some slow cups. They’re objects that are impossible to understand without being held and turned. From a distance, the white image on the white background is invisible and will barely give up a hint or a glint. Even in a photograph, only one vertical swath can really be seen at a time. However, […]

12 November

Tomodachi Totes- Doubt, Quality, and Making Something Not Ceramic

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Tomodachi Totes- Doubt, Quality, and Making Something Not Ceramic

Doubt From time to time, I struggle philosophically with making more material objects for a world that’s saturated with them. Doubt is part of my life as a maker. When I see so many things made of cheap materials, with bad craftsmanship, or with little thought, I get dramatic and want to distance myself from […]

31 March

A guide to using Instagram for studio artists

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A guide to using Instagram for studio artists

“Who cares?”  This is the question I ask myself all the time. Who cares about the work I do or anybody does? How do we as a craft community share and grow as a field? How do we get others to care about the things we care about? As social media becomes increasingly omnipresent and […]

5 March

Raffle for Christa Assad

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Raffle for Christa Assad

A month ago, Christa Assad, a fellow potter, broke her back when she jumped off of the second story porch of her house that was on fire. She lost all her possessions; she lost her clothes, documents, family heirlooms, everything. For the next three months at least, Christa is confined to a stiff brace, so […]

2 July

The Humbling Art of Practice

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The Humbling Art of Practice

Here I am again at the family cottage where I first landed a year ago last June. The cottage is an old friend with its distinct, musty smokiness, with its little spit of rock that juts into a little cove. There is a constancy here that’s a kind of anchor in my life. I decided […]

10 March

Cup Auction for Two Year Anniversary of Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

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Cup Auction for Two Year Anniversary of Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Thanks to GlobalGiving, our charity for Handmade For Japan, you’ll be able to triple the impact your money has when you win this cup of mine in an eBay auction slated to end on Monday, March 11th at 9pm est. If you donate before midnight, March 11th, GlobalGiving will match your donation 200%, so $25 […]

Private Lessons for Ceramic Artists

Ayumi Horie gives private lessons and consultations to individuals about both ceramic studio work and strategies for using social media to market online. In 2005, she was an early adopter of the internet as a tool for marketing and selling her work, and she lectures regularly on the ways that ceramic artists can benefit from online services. She gives workshops on ceramics at schools and art organizations across the United States and internationally. Work can either be done virtually or in person. For more information, contact her at ayumihorie@gmail.com