Ayumi Horie started the @potsinaction Instagram feed over a year ago. I’ve been a fan of Ayumi’s work for years. Both her pots and also her approach to sharing clay in the world – both online and in the community. Innovative videos like this and this. And exciting projects like Portland Brick. Not to mention activism such as Handmade for Japan. Years ago, she started a collection of photos on her website of her pottery being used by their owners/ collectors submitted by those using them. She entitled this project, Pots in Action.
In part, I’m a potter because I see pots as having the incredible privilege of being part of people’s private, everyday lives. Because of this intimacy, we let our guard down around pots, allowing them to convey ideas about aesthetics, function, and social issues. Through repeated use, pots can create habit and be comforting, creating memory for those using the pots. They are objects of service and conduits between people.
These pots are independent of me; they are finding their own way and accumulating histories with various people, in various homes, in various places around the world. Many thanks to all those who use my pots and contributed to this project. Keep the pictures coming.
Her “Pots in Action” project grew and developed and took on another form with the Instagram feed, @potsinaction. It is not limited to her work. It is open to anyone’s work. Each week there is a guest host who chooses a theme (with Ayumi’s help and guidance) to challenge followers. From PIA’s Facebook page:
Pots In Action is a crowdsourcing project that collects and features the best images of handmade pottery in use by potters and ceramic appreciators all over the world. Some are candid, others are posed; what they have in common is taking the pot off the shelf and putting it to work in the kitchen, out of the kitchen, wherever pots can be found…. Part of our mission is to help potters and lovers of ceramics to take better photographs. We want to help people make images that are as compelling and exciting as the work itself.
This week’s challenge, #PIAurban, debuted tonight with this write-up shared by Ayumi:
Before most potters even had websites, Emily Murphy (@potteryblog) was blogging about ceramics. This week, she tours cities for us with #PIAurban. After studying ceramics and metalsmithing at Earlham College, she spent 10 years in Chicago at Lillstreet where she taught and had a studio. She’s now based in Minneapolis where she’s made the switch to soda-fired stoneware to cone 10 porcelain. Being true to the material and firing continues to be at the heart of her work.
Emily writes, “I’m fascinated by pots, potters, studios and kilns in cities. When I first started making pots, the image of the potter that was impressed upon me was that of the country potter. Further education was through apprenticeship until you were ready to set up your own shop on your own piece of land and continue the tradition of the country potter. In the city, expensive real estate, zoning laws, close neighbors and a fast pace aren’t necessarily conducive to making ceramic objects, but because of those constraints, interesting solutions often evolve. With this week’s #PIAchallenge, I’m interested to see the influence of the city on the maker. How does the density of an urban setting encourage collaboration and shared spaces and equipment? How does the space in a city influence the scale of ceramic objects? What are the ways that the approach to clay is similar or different to a rural potter? Are there any urban potters using locally sourced clay? What’s happening with clay in the urban environment that isn’t happening elsewhere? Who is thriving BECAUSE they are in a city? What’s happening with clay in urban centers, internationally? It’s been inspiring to research the city side of clay with #PIAUrban and I’m excited to see how others interpret and respond to this theme.” A round of 👏👏👏 for Sarah Archer @sarcherize for#PIAadoptedcountry! –@ayumihorie
#PIAguesthostEmilyMurphy #emilymurphy #urbanpotter#urbanpottery #cityceramics #minneapolis #mpls #minnesotapottery #potterystudio #pottery#ceramics #keramik #陶器 #céramique #cerámica #陶瓷 #도기류 #도예 #keramikk #craft#contemporarycraft #handmade #potsinaction
I hope you’ll follow along this week and share some images with the hashtag #PIAurban! I’m really excited to see what folks share and how the interpret this week’s theme!
Lastly, my intermittent blogging is about to be more regular now. I have lots of posts in progress! Watch out for the updates!