I'm a native of Japan. I've taught ceramics for more than twenty years, and owned YUNOMI Pottery Studio for the last thirteen years. I never thought I'd become a potter when I was a child, but the fateful moment came when I decided to go to college in America. My first ceramics teacher, David Hunt, taught clay as a metaphor of life, and introduced me to the life of an artist. It was as if I saw who I was for the first time in my life. To further my understanding, I studied with many master potters including Biz Littell, Judy Day, Tom Coleman, Randy Broadnax, Meira Mathison, and Matt Long at Laloba Ranch Clay Center in Steamboat Springs where I was an Artist in Residence between 2000 - 2004. Earlier in my career, I exhibited in galleries in Durango, Steamboat Springs and Santa Fe. Over the last twelve years, I've found teaching and making functional pottery my work and joy. I've also studied and taught mindfulness meditation for many years and like to incorporate that in the beginning of my pottery classes. I find the philosophy of making pottery and meditation practice a perfect fit. Clay has always been a teacher for me. The metaphor of "Centering" is something that stretches into all aspects of my life. Clay asks me to be wiser. It demands me to slow down, focus, and be patient. I'm grateful to be able to share my passion with many people through the studio.
What is it like to dedicate your life to something that you love? That was the question I asked myself when I was a young person wondering what I should do with my life. In college, I wrote in an Artist's Statement, "To keep the joy alive is my goal." I went through many incarnations as a ceramic artist, but running and owning YUNOMI Pottery Studio has been an interesting twist in my career. I realized as much as I love being alone diving deep into my own artistic process, I needed to share it with people. This small studio is a perfect format for teaching, mentoring, and making my own pottery. I keep it small and personal to allow time for relationship and solitude.
There is a concrete reality to clay. You have to touch it, feel it, and learn from it. Clay teaches us to slow down and be patient - this is a humbling experience at first as we have to learn by mistakes and crash many pots. You don't think about other things when you are throwing (or else it'll let you know), and you can enter into the present moment. It’s great to have a small group of people who are having a similar experience: that makes it joyous, and eases the struggles and frustrations. -Chyako
Judy Day and Biz Littell
Over the years, my work has gone through many incarnations. Click on the upper left corner of the photo to start the slide show.