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Interview with Japanese ceramic artist Ayumi Nojiri

Ayumi Nojiri

We interviewed Ayumi Nojiri, a New York-based ceramic artist who participated in the handmade POP-UP event sponsored by niji. We asked her about her brand, works, and future plans.

ayuminojiri

Q/ You crafted many handmade pieces with gentle curves. Please first tell us a little about your brand.

I make ceramic tableware and flower vases. I like white-color ceramics, so most of my works are coated with a white glaze. More recently, I have created more pieces with pale green patterns on a white background as well as black pieces. Because ceramics can be easily customized by selecting combinations of various clays and glazes, we can generate handmade ceramics based on our inspiration. I also create pieces in a variety of colors and shapes according to my customers’ requests.

 

My works are mainly sold at flower shops and artwork stores in and around New York City. I also receive custom orders for tableware from restaurants. My designs have been well received by my customers as they go well with food and flowers. My works are also sold on a consignment basis through ceramics shops and events. The mugs are especially popular these days.

 

Q/ What made you start creating ceramics?

I’m originally from Osaka, Japan, and grew up watching my parents who had worked in the fashion industry. I loved sewing, crafting, and cooking even in my childhood. Retrospectively, I think my parents with creative jobs had significant influences on my artistic interests. No matter what, I really loved crafting handmade items.

After graduating from a university in Japan, I worked at an advertising firm for about a year. However, my health gradually deteriorated in trying to manage the intense workload; I eventually had to quit the job. While thinking about my future career and life, I was inspired by my mother, who worked globally as a fashion designer. Eventually, I decided to move to the United States. I did not have a detailed plan on what to do after coming to the United States, but I wanted to see overseas and test my abilities. I chose New York as my destination, as it is a city with many artists. I was 24 years old at the time.

One day, a while after I came to New York, an idea to make some ceramics suddenly emerged. I decided to attend the local ceramics classes in New York run by a Japanese owner. There was no particular reason or plan for this either; it just came to me one day. It was a pretty similar situation in which people think, “Maybe I should start going to the gym.” In those classes, I learned about ceramics from scratch. I had no knowledge and experience of ceramics whatsoever until then.

A few years after I started joining the classes, the owner asked me if I was interested in becoming an instructor for the same classes. I accepted the offer and started teaching. I had been teaching for about three or four years, but due to the pandemic, the class operations were temporarily suspended. On top, my two daughters were young back then. Those conditions made me put my teaching job on hold. However, I continued my crafting activities while my children were asleep or when they were at school.

Meanwhile, through my friends and personal network, I started to get several offers to sell my ceramic pieces to flower shops and restaurants or on consignment. There was a time when I was proactively marketing my products myself, but thanks to everyone’s support, I was able to rapidly develop a sales network.

Ayumi Nojiri

Q/There are many different types of art, but why did you choose ceramics? Tell us what is the unique nature of ceramics that has attracted you.

The great thing about ceramics is that everyone from children to adults can enjoy making pieces. Ceramics are enjoyed all over the world, regardless of country or culture. It is very attractive that we can freely create ceramics with our own hands from soft clay and we can use our works in our daily lives. While teaching the ceramic classes, I loved seeing students of various ages and levels have a lot of fun making their handmade pieces. 

 

Since I have two young daughters, it can be difficult to work as an artist while raising children. But recently, my daughters have expressed interest in making ceramics. We sometimes make some pieces together. Every time I see my daughters passionately working on their creations, I feel like I have returned to my early years as an artist and experienced the joy of ceramics all over again.

 

There are many steps involved in making ceramics, and it takes time and effort to complete a single piece. Just because you put in a lot of time and effort doesn’t mean you’ll end up with a wonderful piece. Many works just do not meet my initial expectations. However, if it is before firing, pieces are recyclable  so we can recreate something  new from scratch. Ceramics is an art field with a lot of freedom. I am noticing that more and more young generations in the United States are becoming interested in ceramics.

Ayumi Nojiri

Q/ How did you come across the “Japanese Artist Pop-up Shop?” What was it like joining the event, and what do you find appealing about it from an artist’s perspective?

I met the organizer of the Japanese Artist Pop-up Shop at one event; that’s how I was invited to the pop-up shop. Although I have participated in many events, I got the impression that the Japanese Artist Pop-up Shop was exceptionally well taken care of by the organizer. Since every detail was carefully planned, I was able to participate smoothly with peace of mind as an artist. I recommend other artists consider joining the event too.

I also liked the fact that the event was held in the East Village, Manhattan. My works are not particularly inspired by Japanese culture, but the area has many Japanese restaurants and is always busy with local New Yorkers who are interested in Japanese culture. During the event, I received many questions from customers regarding my work. Some American customers had knowledge of traditional Japanese porcelain, such as Arita ware, and I was able to feel firsthand that Japanese culture is widely loved in the United States.

Q/ What is your outlook for the future?

I have a plan to teach ceramics classes at an art studio, which is scheduled to open in 2024. While I like making pieces myself, I also want people to know the joy of making ceramics. Thus, I am really looking forward to teaching the classes. Also, because the owner of the new studio has a Korean heritage, it would be great if we could mix the best parts of Korean and Japanese ceramics to create new, unique pieces.

Additionally, I plan to arrange more collaborations with tattoo artists. My husband also owns an art brand and designs and sells products by working together with various artists. Through the process, I have developed friendships with tattoo artists. Those artists once added tattoo-themed illustrations to my ceramic pieces and we sold them as a joint work. I would like to organize more of those collaborative projects in the future. Through their tattoo illustrations, we may be able to craft works with more Japanese tastes. 

Ayumi Nojiri

If you’re interested in learning more about Ayumi Nojiri’s work, please check out her Instagram.

Check out the following website for the future schedule of the Handmade Makers Market organized by niji: WebsiteYou can also purchase handmade pieces crafted by Japanese artists online: Online Store

 

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Let’s Celebrate World Sake Day : Handmade Craft, Sake & Japanese Cuisine Event

world sake day

What's World Sake Day?

World Sake Day is an annual celebration dedicated to the traditional Japanese rice wine known as sake. Sake enthusiasts around the world come together every October 1st to honor the rich history and cultural significance of this beloved beverage. The event used to be regarded as only a national event in Japan. October 1 is traditionally the starting date of sake production in the country.

About the event

Collaborating with Upstairs NYC and MIKA to celebrate World Sake Day!

Join us in experiencing Japanese culture and discovering delicious crafted Japanese sake and authentic cuisine. We will also have talented Japanese artisans with us. Please join us to meet these artists in person!

world sake day

What can I expect at the event

We have Japanese handmade artists at the event, and you can also experience Japanese craft sake tasting. Additionally, there will be Japanese food vendors at the event. Please come and enjoy Friday night with us!

 

Location : Union Square

31E 17th St, 2nd Floor New York NY (Entrance is on 17th Street)

Date

October 13th (Fri) 17:00-21:00

◇Ticket

  • Early Bird $35
  • Regular Ticket $45

*Ticket will be available for purchase at the door!

The ticket include 10 kinds of sake tasting + Original Sake glass

 

**We check ID at the entrance. Attendees 21 years of age or older will be provided wristband at the check-in, please wear the wristband while you attend the event, we only provide alcohol drinks to the guests who wears the wristband.

Meet our Japanese handmade artists!

We would like to introduce our artists and Japanese artisan food vendors.

Riverside Wrapping Co.

I handmade earrings and small accessories with Japanese paper cords and also carry handmade greeting cards from Tokyo.

 

mizuhiki artist
mizuhiki earring

Malpha

Hi! My name is Maiko. 

I am the owner and founder of Malpha Jewelry. My New York City life experiences have empowered and redefined how I view self awareness, self-love, being enough, and its value to genuine beauty. I created my first earring to represent my decision and commitment to love & value myself, in putting my needs first. Valuing self-love has made me a better person to the world. I became a jewelry designer to recreate that feeling of empowerment & beauty in others when they wear Malpha jewelry. My desire is to reach every person who needs a one of a kind positive charm to remind them that they are beautiful & good enough where they are.

 

handmade jewelry
Malpha

MISOMARU

A ‘Miso Soup Bomb,’ which allows you to easily make delicious miso soup, will be available for purchase at the event. You can also try a tasting at their booth.

Miso bomb

satokomatsu

Handcrafted in the Bronx, our jewelry fuses Japanese Hiragana and Arabic with a concept that ‘Jewelry can connect people.

satokomatsu
sake necklace

Her interview article is available here. You can also purchase her items on our online marketplace “niji”.

Pucci Ropa Jewelry

Handmade starling silver/brass jewelry. 

Made with special tool that creates organic and abstract shape. Enjoy a unique jewelry and hidden massages. ~chihiro takeshita~
 I put my idea that comes from my experiences, feelings and favorite things into my design. 
Each shapes and designes are slightly different each other as you are. Same meanings, but from different aspect.
I want people to feel the energy through the jewelry.

silver handmade jewelry
silver handmade ring

Her interview article is available here.

MIYOMACCHI

Discover MIYOMACCHI: Born 8/8/2023 in Manhattan’s East Village. We’re all about cat-themed sweets & top-tier pastries that taste as good as they look. Quality is our jam – premium ingredients & killer flavors.

Cat shape sweets

Japanklyn

A streetwear brand for all Japan lovers

Japanklyn
Japanklyn

organic art reiki candles

Organic handmade natural candles one by one by channeling artist and healing cellist Chi . No chemical , no artificial color and made in NYC . her candles are added reiki clearing energy as well . Her candles are not only art but also healing and eye – candies . When she makes them , she puts full of love n wish your happiness as well .

Organic handmade candle

Elly’s pastry

In 2022, our small patisserie opened in NYC in collaboration with Tazue Inc. Our head chef, Elly, was born and raised in Japan. Elly has over 20 years of experience as pasty chef working in both Tokyo and New York. 

Japanese fruits sandwich

What kind of Japanese craft sake will be included in the sake tasting?

Special Sake Selection: 30+ Selections, 17+ Brands !

Learn more about each brand below. If you’re interested in Japanese sake, don’t miss the opportunity to meet Sake specialists from the sake vendors at the event and gain valuable knowledge.

sake brands

Kubota Sake

@kubota_sake_global : KUBOTA:“Tanrei-karakuchi”- crisp, clean and dry sake brewed in Nagaoka, Niigata. Introducing ways to enjoy our versatile drink.

kubota sake

Takara Shuzo

@takarasakeusa @miosparklingusa : Since launching sake brewing operations in 1842, in the late Edo period, Takara Shuzo have been providing for more than 170 years a wide variety of products underpinned by thier creative and proven technology responding to the values and tastes of consumers.

takarashuzo

KIKUSUI

@kikusui_pr : 【Numerous Gold Prizes in Japan】

Kikusui has been awarded many gold prizes for its new-brew Sake in some of Japan’s most authoritative competitions, which judge the quality of new Sake produced in breweries throughout Japan.

KATO SAKE WORKS

@katosakeworks : Kato Sake Works is a local craft sake brewery in Bushwick Brooklyn, featured on New York Times, Kato Sake Works offers local sake enjoyed genuinely.

Katosake

WESAKE

@drinkwesake 

WESAKE is a sake brand that offers smooth, crisp, and easy-to-drink sake perfected by tradition, for everyone to enjoy. Crafted in Kobe, Japan, with rice, water, koji, and yeast, WESAKE is the perfect choice for any occasion and palate.

we sake

KIENOENE

@kinoene_sake

https://www.mtcsake.com/sake-2/kinoene-akiagari-junmai-ginjo

www.iinumahonke.co.jp

【Gold Prizes Japan】

Kinoene has been making sake in Chiba Japan for 300 years, combining tradition and art with technology. Kinoene Masamune participates in the community as well by contricuting to tourisum, and develop & sells confections and sake-related goods to enrich local culture adn commerce.

Ticket

  • Early Bird $35
  • Regular Ticket $45

The ticket include 10 kinds of sake tasting + Original Sake glass

**We check ID at the entrance. Attendees 21 years of age or older will be provided wristband at the check-in, please wear the wristband while you attend the event, we only provide alcohol drinks to the guests who wears the wristband.

FAQ

  • Will tickets also be sold at the door?
    Yes, if it has not been sold out and while supplies last.
  • How does check-in work?
    We’ll scan in your QR code at the venue, and give you a glass and drink voucher.
  • What if I lose the drink voucher and glass?
    Do not lose your food & drink voucher. We’re unable to replace these if you lose them. Use it or lose it 😉

Refund Policy

REFUND POLICY
The event fee is non-refundable. You can, on the other hand, transfer a ticket to a friend.

If an event is postponed, rescheduled, or moved, your tickets are still valid for the new date and no further action is required. Emails will be sent to ticket holders notifying them of any available refund options for the event.

Gallery

Japanese jewelry designer
Japanklyn
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Let’s Make Teru Teru Bozu Ghost Amigurumi with Petrina/TeaLoveCrochet

Teru Teru Bozu Amigurumi

Amigurumi Making Class with Petrina/TeaLoveCrochet

Join Us for a Creative Crafting Experience!

Let’s Make Japanese “Teru Teru Bozu” Ghost Amigurumi with the Expert Guidance of Petrina from TeaLoveCrochet on October 22nd.

amigurumi class

Class information

Date: 10/22th(Sun) 10:00 ~11:00

Location:Resobox

91 E 3rd St , New York, NY 10003

Please purchase the ticket for the class from below.

Price:$35/person

What can I make in the class?

Instructor will teach simple crochet stitches and how to read a pattern in order to make a cute teru teru
bozu ghost.

 

Supplies included:

  • Yarn enough for 1 amigurumi
  • Crochet hook
  • Choice of colored yarn for tie
  • 1 pair of Safety Eyes
  • Polyfil for head
amigurumi making class
amigurumi making workshop
Teru Teru Bozu Amigurumi
Teru Teru Bozu Amigurumi

What is Amigurumi?

Amigurumi is the Japanese art of crocheting or knitting small stuffed animals or toys using yarn and a hook or needles, often resulting in cute and charming creatures.

What is Teru teru bozu ?

てるてる坊主

A teru teru bōzu is a small traditional handmade that originated from the Edo period in Japan, made
from white paper or cloth, that Japanese farmers began hanging outside of their window by a string.
This talisman is supposed to have magical powers to bring good weather and to stop or prevent a rainy
day. – Wikipedia

Teru teru bozu

About the instructor

Instructor Profile:
My name is Petrina and based in Queens, NY. I’ve been working with yarn for over 2 decades and have
been largely inspired by Japanese/Chinese culture and food. . . as well as my cat sometimes. I hope you
will learn to love working with yarn as much as I do.

This will be my first group teaching experience so please be kind!

Amigurumi Making Class Ticket

Please purchase the ticket for the class from below.

Price:$35/person

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The most famous Japanese traditional craft “Togei” (Japanese pottery)

Famous Japanese Pottery

About Japanese Pottery

In Japan, there are many crafts called “Dento Kogei (traditional crafts)”, which are made using skills and techniques that have been passed down over the years.

Many traditional crafts are made from materials produced in the region and cannot be made anywhere else.

This article focuses on one of the most popular traditional pottery, Togei.

What is Togei?

Togei is the art of molding clay and firing it at high temperatures to make porcelain and other forms of pottery.

Generally, Ceramics indicate both “Pottery” and “Porcelain” both are also called Yakimono, which is equivalent to the English word “Ceramics”.

The table below shows the characteristics of each.

Pottery

  • Produced using clay.
  • Firing temperature is 800-1200°C.
  • Suitable for hot soups and drinks due to low heat conduction.
  • It is thick without transparency.
  • The clay-like texture is attractive.
  • Dishwasher and microwave-safe.

 

Famous Pottery|Mashiko-yaki, Hagi-yaki, etc.

Care|After purchase, soak in water or lukewarm water for about half a day.

Water absorption prevents oil and odors from soaking in when cooking.

When drying, do not allow the vessels to overlap each other, and store them only after they are completely dry.

Porcelain


  • Produced using stone powder made from crushed and powdered ceramic stone.
  • Fired at a high temperature of over 1,300 degrees Celsius.
  • Smooth and transparent like glass.
  • High heat resistance due to high-temperature firing.
  • Low water absorption and high hardness.
  • Can be used in microwave ovens.


*If painted with gold or silver decorations as decoration, No.

Famous porcelain ware|Hasami-yaki, Kutani-yaki, Arita-yaki

How to care for porcelain|It does not need to be watered first like ceramics.

Porcelain is more durable than ceramics, but it is thin and prone to chipping and cracking.

Japanese traditional ceramic art

Representative Japanese six potteries

The “Nihon Rokkoyo (The Six Ancient Kilns of Japan)” is the collective name for six kilns that have continued to produce pottery to the present day, while inheriting pottery techniques that have continued since the Jomon period.

The six kilns are Echizen, Seto, Tokoname, Shigaraki, Tamba and Bizen.

These were recognized as “Japanese Heritage” in 2017.

It is said that Japanese ceramic techniques mostly derive from China and Korea.

However, only the Six Ancient Kilns of Japan are distinguished as genuine Japanese pottery.

 

 

  • Echizen Yaki / Fukui Prefecture

Echizen pottery has a rustic texture and is made of red clay, which is locally available and can withstand high temperatures due to its high iron content.

https://www.town-echizen.jp/en/

 

  • SetoYaki / Aichi Prefecture

Seto-yaki is pottery with colorful paintings and lines added using a variety of glazes.

It was the only pottery made with glaze in the medieval period.

https://www.setoyakishinkokyokai.jp/

 

  • TokonameYaki / Aichi Prefecture

Uses iron-rich pottery clay from the Chita Peninsula.

http://www.tokonameyaki.or.jp/

 

  • Shigaraki Yaki / Shiga Prefecture

Shigarayaki is made of coarse clay and is highly fire-resistant.

Large ceramics are often made.

https://www.593touki.jp/shigarakiyaki.html

 

  • Tamba Yaki / Hyogo Prefecture

This color uses “natural glaze” without artificial glaze.

This pottery is popular not only for practical use but also for ornamental purposes.

https://kogeijapan.com/locale/en_US/tambatachikuiyaki/

 

  • Bizen Yaki / Okayama Prefecture

Bizen Pottery is fired for a long time without painting or glaze.

This is the ultimate simple pottery made to enjoy the texture of the clay.

https://touyuukai.jp/history.html

Ceramic to decorate the dining table

The dish tray in which food is placed is called a “Utsuwa”.

In Japanese households, each side dish is usually served on a different dish and eaten separately.

Therefore, the amount of dishes needed is also the amount of containers needed.

It has long been said that a well-balanced meal should consist of “one soup and three types of vegetable,” and many households still follow this basic rule.

Ichiju sanzai” refers to a menu consisting of one soup and three side dishes.

 

Ichiju: Ichi means one, jyu means soup. As the name implies, it is a soupy dish, such as miso soup.

San-sai: San means three, Sai means dish/meal. It consists of one “main dish” and two “side dishes”  (three side dishes in total).

This “Ichi jyu San sai set” is served with rice (staple food).

 

Basically, each side dish is served on a separate plate.

For example, sautéed spinach is placed in a dish with yellow lines to enhance the green color, grilled fish is placed on yakimono to express the beauty of nature, and if the season is early spring, the drinking cups are made of pottery with cherry blossoms painted on them, provoking thoughts of the cherry blossoms that will bloom soon.

 

Nowadays, porcelain with simple shapes, which is easy to take care of and hard to break, is preferred for ordinary dining tables.

However, even today, meals are served in a variety of dishes at ryotei or Ryokan (traditional Japanese restaurant or hotel).

Enjoying these dishes is one of the best parts of traveling.

Japanese ceramic

Pottery Techniques

Here are some basic pottery techniques.

If you are interested in pottery, we encourage you to actively participate in pottery workshops.

 

What you can make with pottery:

Vases, dishes, cups, chopstick rests, wind chimes, aroma lamps, musical instruments, dolls, Christmas ornaments, etc.

<Terms frequently used in Pottery>

 

Tebineri (hand forming)

A technique in which clay is shaped by stretching it with the fingertips. There are basically no restrictions on the shapes of ceramics that can be made using the hands alone.

It is possible to make not only everyday vessels such as tableware and cups, but also ornamental items such as large pots and chopstick rests.



Rokuro (Potter’s Wheel)

The motorized or mechanical  potter’s wheel is operated by stepping on a pedal at the foot of the potter’s wheel to rotate the stand.

By using centrifugal force, it is possible to make beautiful vessels of well-defined shapes.

However, because the speed of rotation is very fast, it takes some practice to become proficient.

Also, since there is a limit to the shapes that can be formed, the rokuro is not suitable for certain items that you may want to make.

Typical shapes include vases, tableware, and jars.

 

Etsuke (Painting)

In the process of painting, colors are applied directly to the pottery, which is then covered with a transparent glaze before firing.

Famous pottery with painted decoration|Kutani ware, Imari ware, and Arita ware.

 

Yuyaku/ Uwagusuri (Glaze)

A glassy coating material when glaze is applied to the surface of unglazed ceramics and fired again.

Glazes give color, luster, etc., as well as increase the strength of the pottery and protect it from water and dirt by decreasing its water absorbency.

The variety of glazes is unlimited, depending on raw materials and formulations.

 

Hori/ Kizami (Carving)

The surface of a vessel is decorated with an uneven surface using a stick or blade.

This technique has been used since Jomon pottery, and there are a variety of techniques.

 

Nerikomi (Kneading)

Two or more types of clay of different colors and the same hardness are kneaded together before forming.

Pop-Culture

Comics are also popular in Japan.

Japanese comics are drawn in a variety of genres, and of course, there are comics about ceramics.

Even if you are not interested in comics, you may be interested in a comic about ceramics in Japan.

The most famous ceramic comic.

The theme is Hagi Yaki.

Complete in 15 volumes.

Sequel to Hi ga Hashiru above.

Complete in 9 volumes.

The story is about the main character, Haruka, who is so impressed by a piece of pottery that she quits her job and goes to apprentice herself to the artist.

The theme is Bizen Yaki.

A story of Utsuwa and love, set in Hasami, Nagasaki.

The theme is Hasami Yaki, famous for painted Utsuwa.

A manga about ceramic art featuring a man. The main character is a gentle potter, but in fact, his secret identity is that he is an “underhanded potter” who solves all kinds of troubles related to ceramics for rewards of tens of millions of yen.

It is a story about a girl from England who is fascinated with being a potter and trains herself in the art.

The theme is Shigaraki ware.

Although not a pottery manga, it is a long-selling comic that colorfully depicts Japanese cuisine, vessels, and other aspects of Japanese culture.

One of the main characters, “Yuuzan Umehara,” is a potter.

Summary

In this article, we introduced one of Japan’s traditional crafts, ceramics.

Ceramics is still one of the most popular crafts today, with workshops being held all over Japan.

If you have a chance to attend a pottery workshop, please do so.

We will continue to send out information about various Japanese crafts in the future, so please look forward to it!

You can read other interview articles from here.

 

Interested in exploring a diverse range of Japanese handmade items?

Our platform “niji ” has selection of products crafted by talented Japanese artists. Discover unique creations from here!

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An interview with Studio Haru, a designer of Japanese-inspired stationery, apparel, and gift items

Studio Haru Interview

We conducted an interview with one of our artists, "Studio Haru", who creates Japanese-inspired stationery, apparel, and gift items. She also participated in our Japanese Maker's Market pop-up event on July 9, 2023.

We interviewed ‘Studio Haru,’ who is based in NY artist and she explained her brand and herself to us. She also talked about her experience at our pop-up event on July 9, 2023.You can check the details about the event she attended here

About Studio Haru

Handmade apparel stationary gift items brand

I don’t like showing my face in pictures generally because I am an extremely introverted and shy person, and thinking about it even more, it’s also because I don’t necessarily want to be recognized by the way I look/appear but instead I want to be recognized by my work. I am not looking for fame, that isn’t my cup of tea. All I want to achieve is to put a smile on people’s faces with our products.

Studio Haru’s website

Q/ Your brand deals with a wide range of items including clothing, stationery, accessories, and glassware. First of all, tell us your background story behind the brand name "Studio Haru.

I have worked in the fashion industry for a long time, and the experience made me feel that there can be constraints in the industry that limit an artist’s creativity. I love to freely craft new designs and products based on the inspirations in my head through the “try-and-see” process. But, there is an atmosphere in the industry where rough ideas and the process are not welcomed. I wanted to launch my own brand and give shape to my inspiration without any limitations.

The brand name Studio Haru comes from both my ability to speak Japanese and my favorite season, spring (“haru” in Japanese). However, the brand does not necessarily reflect the image of spring. For instance, Studio Haru’s brand colors are dark blue and earthy orange, instead of bright colors such as pink and yellow which are usually associated with spring. This is also because we value inspiration. We sell various items crafted through our own inspirations, not based on existing frameworks.

Studio Ghibli movies and Japanese food have helped foster my interest in Japanese culture since childhood. I have both Latin American and Chinese heritage and speak five languages: English, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Spanish. I often attempt to include the essence of some or all of these five cultures in my work because I love all of them! Japanese culture, in particular, symbolizes the warmth of the Japanese community. I believe Japanese culture welcomes and accepts other cultures’ collaboration. As an artist with no background in Japan, I sometimes get worried that my works might “invade” Japanese culture. However, every time I participate in an event celebrating Japanese culture, I can feel that my products are warmly welcomed and my fear is groundless.

Strawberry glass cup
Hoodie designed by Studio Haru

Q/ How did you come to work as an artist in New York?

My grandmother and mother have had significant influences on my career as an artist. During my childhood, I used to watch my seamstress grandmother sewing and my mother making handmade clothes for my siblings and me. These experiences made me interested in creative work. My father, who is an entrepreneur, also inspired me to explore the idea of launching my own brand. Since I was a child, I have enjoyed crafting various handmade products, but making fabric products and outfits is particularly special; it allows me to feel connected to my grandmother and appreciate her. Thus, those products have a special presence in Studio Haru. 

 

Furthermore, after I started working in the fashion industry, I was able to combine my creative and fashion sides together. The reason why Studio Haru sells both creative items and fashionable clothing is because of this personal growth. Today, I am inspired by various things such as children playing in a local park in New York, dreams that I have at night, movies, music, food, etc. I write down my rough ideas in my journal every day and gradually turn them into designs and products. 

Play Ground loose sweatshirts

Q/ How did you come across “Japanese Artist Pop-up Shop”? What was good about joining the event, and what do you find appealing from an artist’s perspective?

I founded Studio Haru in 2019, but then the pandemic hit us. As a result, we were only able to sell items online for a long time. Last year, we were finally able to set up a physical booth at events and markets. Since then, we have proactively looked for events where we could participate as a seller, but at the same time, we have carefully chosen events based on the location and the participants’ demographics.

 

Studio Haru’s core customers are young people in their 20s and 30s, who are interested in Japanese and Asian cultures, as well as students who regularly use stationery. There are also many customers who prefer simple outfits. Thus, an ideal event for Studio Haru would be an indoor venue in the New York area, where there are many young people and heavy pedestrian traffic on weekends. Given these points, the Japanese Artist Pop-up Shop was an ideal event for us.

 

In fact, participating in the event was a huge success. Many people living in New York stopped by our booth and looked at our products. I was also able to receive new inspiration from the works of other artists. In addition to the location and the participants’ demographics at an event, I believe close distance with customers is also a success factor. At the Japanese Artist Pop-up Shop, the indoor setting allowed me to talk to many customers. This also makes me believe that joining the event was a success for us.

image from Japanese artist pop-up shop

Q/ Even though Studio Haru was founded four years ago, the brand has successfully developed many items and sells them domestically and internationally. What is the secret behind the success?

I am grateful to my husband, family, friends, and others who value my inspiration and support our brand. Currently, my husband and I manage Studio Haru. Due to the large number of items we sell, it can be very challenging for the two of us to oversee all of the production processes, event participation, and online transactions. However, my husband always supports me with the belief that “If you have an idea, you should try it!”

 

Also, my father shares a lot of business know-how with me. His advice backed the successful launch of Studio Haru. During the pandemic, we also asked for help from our friends and their friends to quickly set up our website and start selling items online. We often take photos of the items ourselves to post on the website, but if we need professional support, we ask our friends to introduce us to potential candidates.

 

With the support of various people, Studio Haru has been able to boost its popularity and trust as a brand. I am very grateful to those who have supported us. It is because of all of you that we have been able to come this far through our try-and-see process.

Q/ What is your outlook for the future?

Our short-term goal is to open a physical store. As for its location, we would like it to be in a lively place, like the East Village in Manhattan, with many young people and students. I opened a pop-up store in the East Village area in April 2023 and it made a good impression. It solidified the image of our future store.

 

In addition, we would like to expand our recently launched sub-brand “Grumpy Shiba,” which is embodied by a Shiba Inu character, and “Haru Penpal,” a project to match people who are interested in having pen pals. Grumpy Shiba is a characterization of my favorite dog breed, the Shiba Inu, and is a new initiative for Studio Haru. Although e-mails, online chats, and texts have become the mainstream methods of communication, Haru Penpal is looking for participants in the hope of facilitating cultural exchanges through warm, handwritten letters.

 

We don’t have any particular long-term goals as we are expanding the brand based on my inspiration. We plan to focus on opening our physical store in the near future. After that, I will keep working to get more people to know Studio Haru through further try-and-see process.

Studio Haru shelf
grumpy shiba

We sell Studio Haru's items on our Japanese handmade online store platform "niji"

Please check out our online store to find her creative items for sale!

Also many other Japanese handmade artists sell their items on our platform.

niji online store

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Autumn Japanese Handmade Maker’s Market

Autumn Handmade Japanese Maker's Market

Our Upcoming Japanese Handmade Show!

Event details

Discover Japanese-Inspired Accessories and Art at Our Craft Show!

 

Explore a stunning collection of earrings, necklaces, and more, all with a touch of Japanese inspiration. Calling all Japanese artists and creators influenced by Japan to showcase their unique works! Join us to experience a showcase of diverse artistic talents.

Event Details:

📍 Location: 91 E 3rd St, New York, NY 10003 *Indoor and free administration 
📅 Date: October 22nd (Sunday)
⏰ Time: 12:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Don’t miss this chance to immerse yourself in creativity and culture!

 

Eventbrite 

Japanese handmade craft items
Japanese handmade craft items
Japanese handmade craft items
Japanese handmade craft items
Japanese handmade craft items
Japanese handmade craft items

Meet our handmade artists!

We are excited to introduce our talented Japanese artists at the event.

You’ll have the chance to meet the handmade creators in person, hear their stories, and learn about the intricate details behind each item. Discover truly unique and creative works for yourself or find the perfect gift for your loved ones.

chocolateclayyy

Polymer clay and resin jewelry and sculptures

 

Pink Sakura Short Dangle Earrings 2 - chocolateclayyy

Kazaria2

Handmade hat and kimono used Japanese fabric

 

IMG_20230809_184842_679
2BBED11B-1940-4293-9E4E-2AFE089545E3 - mai izumoi

Usagiduck

Stationary, apparels and art prints of original character Usagiduck and their animal friends.

 

IMG_0669 - Nao Kondo

Pucci Ropa Jewelry

Handmade starling silver/brass jewelry.

I use a special tool that makes organic and abstract shape.

Enjoy a unique jewelry and massage from me.

 

Please also check her interview article 

Japanese silver jewelry designer
IMG_0468

satokomatsu

Satoko founder of satokomatsu, a native of Osaka, was nurtured by a blend of influences including her parents, an English teacher, and a Japanese calligraphy instructor. Throughout her university years, where she delved into Italian language and culture, Arabic, and Hebrew studies, she embarked on a journey to Florence to explore the realm of jewelry design.

After accumulating eight years of experience as a jewelry designer in Japan, Satoko relocated to New York in 2013 to further refine her design prowess. It was in 2015 that she took the bold step of establishing her personal jewelry line, marking a significant milestone in her creative journey.

GRAPE pendant in Hiragana. Can you find the hidden ‘ぶどう’ in the cluster, a symbol of fertility and wealth? You can enjoy the beauty of language and culture with this ‘word picture’ style design. A thoughtful gift for wine lovers and Japanese enthusiasts.

 

Please check her interview article from here!

budou main - Satoko Komatsu
satokomatsu

Hooks and Luxe

Creating by hand using eco-friendly materials, Hooks & Luxe’s accessories are perfect for when you want to add a little dainty sparkle to your daily life. All products are designed and made in Queens, NY by Ryoko Kitazawa, the designer and owner of the brand. After studying at Parsons the New School For Design, she was looking for something that would tap into her creativity and design skills and found that accessories design was exactly what she was looking for. She is originally from Japan and believes that it influences the softness and delicacy in her design, showing up in the pieces. The two different cultures in Japan and in the US have given her a broader perspective, and now she puts her unique sensibilities into handmade accessories.

 

HooksAndLuxe1 - Ryoko Kitazawa (1)
japanese artist

Unipaca Studio

Cute handmade stationery items like vinyl stickers, sticker sheets, and acrylic keychains! I also enjoy drawing anime-inspired art prints and have many future projects to come!

 

 
Ice Cream Acrylic Keychains - Unipaca Studio
Unipaca Studio

Karepango

Just your friendly neighborhood part-time artist. Don’t worry about it. 🙂

 

Dishing out daily doses of whimsical creativity, Karepango is your go-to hub for art that celebrates the humorous, satirical side of everyday life. Infused with our artist’s knack for pulling inspiration from mundane routines, Karepango serves a hearty spread of hand-drawn stickers, prints, pins, and clothing line. Join us at the table where art meets amusement, every purchase supports a bigger, better, and quirkier creation.

 

website

instagram

Handmade stickers, accessories, and apparel

TeaLoveCrochet

TeaLoveCrochet expands on what we normally associate with knit and crochet. Creating cute accessories inspired by Asian food, Harajuku fashion, and their own Asian American culture.

 

TeaLoveCrochet
TeaLoveCrochet

Poiful rugs

HOKKORI KAWAII hand made rugs. We create beautiful, hand crafted rugs with various designs inspired directly from Japanese culture and nature. They have a variety of uses such as brightening a room, bringing joy and delight, and of course, making an excellent gift for family and friends.

 

colorful handmade rug
Handmade rug class by Poiful rugs

Fragrant Olive

Handmade soaps with Japanese koi fish and makeup bags using Japanese fabrics.

 

She also had a soap making class at out event!

Handmade soaps and makeup pouch
Soap making class

Riverside Wrapping Co.

Riverside Wrapping Co. offers high quality custom gift wrapping service and Mizuhiki (Japanese paper cords) accesories by certified Gift Wrapping Coordinator Emi, based in Upper West Side, NY.

 

mizuhiki artist
Handmade mizuhiki earrings

Nappel

Pop Up Sox: are made by Japanese craftsmen using special knitting machines that create the 3-D animal ears and hands that pop out– babies love them and so do grown-ups! They are ideal baby shower gifts.

 

Pompkins Baby :Organic cotton products have a natural and gentle feel. They are made from cotton that is grown in soil not treated with pesticides or chemical fertilizers for more than three years– ladybugs are used instead of pesticides, and is harvested after the frost has ended when leaves fall off naturally.

 

instagram

Animal design Japanese baby socks brand Nappel.
Japanese baby socks

We will be offering Japanese sweets, snacks, and beverages at the event. Come join us and savor the delights of creativity and Japanese culture.

If you are not in NYC or can’t make it to join us for the pop-up events, please visit our online marketplace “niji“.

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Interview with TeaLoveCrochet

We had an interview with our artist TeaLoveCrochet

We had an interview with TeaLoveCrochet , an artisan skilled in crafting Japanese Amigurumi and various functional items through the art of crochet.

With a keen crochet expertise, TeaLoveCrochet brings to life charming designs that draw inspiration from Asian cuisine, Harajuku fashion, and Lolita fashion.

Please check her instagram from here!

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Interview video with Riverside Wrapping Co.

mizuhiki artist

We had an interview with Japanese Mkizuhiki artist "Riverside Wrapping Co."

Riverside Wrapping Co. was founded by Emi, that beautifully merges traditional Mizuhiki art with contemporary designs. Emi expertly employs the intricate art of Mizuhiki to craft modern earrings that exude elegance and uniqueness.

Mizuhiki, a captivating Japanese art form, involves the meticulous creation of ornate cords using paper or silk threads. Originally employed for gift wrapping, ceremonies, and accessories, Mizuhiki cords have historically symbolized luck and prosperity. Over time, this art form has evolved, combining rich tradition with innovative expressions. The varied colors and shapes of Mizuhiki cords hold profound meanings, contributing to its significance as a cultural craft.

Explore Riverside Wrapping Co. ‘s innovative creations by visiting her website through this link.

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Interview video with “pucci ropa jewelry”

japanese jewelry designer

Interview video with “pucci ropa jewelry”

“Pucci Ropa Jewelry” is a distinguished jewelry brand established by the Japanese artist Chihiro, presently situated in New York. Her collection encompasses an array of pieces including rings, earrings, and ear cuffs, crafted from sterling silver and brass. Notably, one of her signature designs is “ameba,” which symbolizes evolution and chance.

Please check her interview article from here!

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Interview with Ever Green who attended our event from Japan.

Our Japanese Handmade Pop-Up Event Experience.

We had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Nagasawa, the talented founder of Ever Green, who traveled all the way from Japan to attend our event on November 24, 2019

Self introduction

I am Mihoko Nagasawa, a jewelry artist based in Sendai, Japan, and the owner of Beads Studio Ever Green. My journey with jewelry began about 8 years ago when I was captivated by the allure of beads and started creating pieces. Since then, I have acquired multiple jewelry-making certifications, including the Jewelry Crochet Professor qualification. In addition to creating bead accessories and jewelry crochet works, I also incorporate my origami experience from childhood into crafting origami accessories. Currently, I am actively engaged in creative activities and participate in exhibitions at department stores, events, and other venues in Sendai.

The reason for starting activities in overseas

Especially with the expectation that origami accessories would be suitable for the “Japanese Artist Pop Up Shop,” and with the support of my family, I decided to participate in this event in New York.

Positive aspects of participating in the event

During the event, I received a lot of positive reactions to my origami accessories, and I was able to directly hear feedback from customers, which served as a reference for my future creative activities.

Challenges faced during the event

As it was my first exhibition in New York, it took time to prepare the necessary equipment and materials, including English labeling, which was a challenging task.

Future activities

From now on, I plan to tour all over Japan, based in Sendai, and also participate in events regularly in New York to expand the scope of my activities.

Message to other Japanese artists considering expanding overseas

Embarking on overseas expansion can be confusing at first, but New York is a city that allows you to showcase your uniqueness. It’s a place where you can find inspiration from the abundant art that fills the city. Why not try venturing into the artistic city of New York?