“A Day in the Life” with Vancouver-based Ceramic Artist Chihiro Uki

Introducing Chihiro Uki, the creative force behind Potteruki! Originally from Japan and now residing in Vancouver, Canada, Chihiro embarked on her pottery journey during her university days, where she majored in geography. Beyond merely crafting ceramics, she is dedicated to infusing a sense of joy into the daily lives of her patrons through her creations.

Nature serves as Chihiro’s primary muse, with a particular emphasis on the ocean. Growing up under the influence of her marine biologist father, she developed a deep appreciation for the sea, with a special fondness for majestic whales. Trips to aquariums and a vast collection of shells gathered from various corners of the globe further fueled her passion for marine-inspired artistry.

Chihiro’s routine walks along Jericho Beach are not just for leisure; they are moments of inspiration, where she gathers natural treasures to incorporate into her pieces. Accompanied by her best friend and husband, Russell, as well as their beloved rescued dog Chester, these walks are cherished moments of togetherness and creativity.

Her shell earring collections, moulded from shells collected during her travels, stand as a testament to her artistic prowess and connection to the oceanic world.

Beyond her artistic endeavours, Chihiro gracefully balances her role as a mother of two alongside her passion for pottery. Through her work, she aspires to share her reverence for nature and coastal living, enriching the lives of others with each meticulously crafted piece.

-Written by a friend

Chihiro Uki
Pyjama party of the studio I’m a member at Cafe Au Clay
Chihiro Uki
I like it when customers send me photos of my creations
A lot of my Porcelain earrings are modelled from shells I find on the beach
My supportive family
My Little Home Studio is filled with earth-themed decorations
I walk my dog Cheater daily on Vancouver beaches as he likes to run on the sand, and I like to collect shells
Chihiro Uki
I make porcelain shell dishes with dreamy glazes
Whale motifs are used a lot in my pottery, you can find them on my cups, plates and earrings

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Which ‘hood are you in?

I live in Westbrook village in UBC which is situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam people. I love living here as it is located on the peninsula surrounded by the ocean right beside Pacific Spirit Park which is a lovely woods.

What do you do?

I am a small business owner as a potter. I make pottery and I sell them for a living.

What are you currently working on?

Currently, I am working on oyster shell dishes while building up inventory for upcoming markets in the spring/summer season. I usually have multiple unfinished projects going on at the same time, the oldest of such projects is making my own lucky cats. Lucky cats are said to bring fortune and good luck, often placed on storefronts in Japan. I would like to start making my own version of lucky cats for Canadian people. I have been working on this for over two years and I have yet to like any of the prototypes I made enough to start a production on them.

My recent obsession is practising throwing a moon jar. I want to start being able to throw bigger and bigger. I am trying to perfect with 5kg of clay right now but my goal is to be able to throw 10kg of clay.

Where can we find your work?

I have an Etsy shop but I also do a lot of direct sales on my Instagram. You can find my pottery and porcelain earrings at various locations in Makers: Kitsilano, Gastown, North Vancouver and Victoria. I am also selling in Artisan Avenue on Granville Street, as well as White Rabbit Boutique. My earring collection can also be found at the UBC bookstore and at the Totem gift shop in Stanley Park. I also attend various markets throughout the year.

 

About Demian Vernieri 507 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.