Ayumi Horie quote: “When I got out of grad school I was at a crossroads …”


CM: One of the other things you have become known for beyond, but related to, your work is your effectiveness at marketing your work through digital media. How did you become an early adopter of technology in our field, and how have you seen that change over time?

AH: When I got out of grad school I was at a crossroads. On one hand, I could teach in academia, and on the other, I could make work. I chose to primarily make work. To my good fortune, the internet was growing quickly and I was interested in it on an artistic level and as
a marketing tool. Artistically, it felt very much like ceramics, where niggling and loss of control existed in the same process. I was also interested right from the beginning in reaching out to people directly. I’ve always been very shy, and being online was a way in which I could have a balance of solitude and engagement as far as customers were concerned. The reclusive studio artist now has a portal to the outside world!

What’s emerged over the past few years with social media and blogging is an incredible transparency to our lives, however much spin we put on things. It’s been amazing to see the growth of museum collections online and artist databases so that minutia can be accessed instantly. The conversations I had just a few years ago that encourage more blogging in ceramics and called for more educational videos are largely irrelevant now. The number of quality voices out there vying for our ears and wallets ups the ante and puts even more demands on makers to wear multiple hats, all the while leading an ostensibly non-chaotic studio life.

The other day I watched a charming video about my woodworker friend, Josh Vogel, with wood chips flying and his sandy voice talking about finding old nails in tree trunks. It was a powerful reminder that no matter how seductive and fun it is for me to do marketing material, whether it’s postcards or video, my work in clay comes first and that neglecting it for too long isn’t in my best interest. There’s still nothing better to me than a good functional pot. I don’t know if being an attentive Facebooker and a focused ceramic artist are mutually exclusive, but I’m entertaining the idea.” (10).

Hall, Sherman. “Ceramic Artist of the Year: Ayumi Horie.” Ceramic Arts. 2012. P 8 – 11.


12 thoughts on “Ayumi Horie quote: “When I got out of grad school I was at a crossroads …”

  1. I know the feeling. If I can’t get my hands muddy it is just not a really happy day. I have yet to get the feel for blogging and the Facebook thing. If I ever get to the place where I feel about Facebook the way I feel about a ball of clay in my hand, life will be complete ;-}.

  2. thank you for posting this article! I think that there are a lot of young people wanting to work with handicraft..even though it’s a difficult path. It’s always inspiring to know how people combine tradition and new realities into a successful mix!! It warms the heart!

  3. like all thing balance is the key. the internet brings the world to suburbia for me, making it possible for me to make art in a studio I can afford but still reach the world, but some-days it also intrudes into my quiet space where work happens. Nice post.

  4. The tension between the pull of work and other concerns is a daily issue for me. Is it so for most artists? Nowadays, the attraction of interacting online is also part of the equation. An online colleague Sandrine Pelissier suggests an hour in the morning to check things over and then leaving it unless it’s time for a big update. What do you think is the best way to work it?

  5. Someone once pointed out to me that whilst email was instant communication messages didnt have to be answered ‘instantly’, indeed those left for hours or even days where likely to have a more considered response than the reply dashed off in haste (and sometimes regretted). The internet is a wonderful resource but you should be in charge. Which is very easy to write but its sometimes hard not to feel its magnetic pull to look and communicate.

  6. Reblogged this on kopparrox and commented:
    I see working online as a more intresting form of marketing, as well as the desire to share what is going on in one’s own workshop. It is a good idea to decide a part of the day or the week to dedicate to it…it is so difficult not to lose myself in writing and searching around!

  7. Thanks TheBigForest for your comment about email (and making considered replies) but also the note about being in charge. It is as simple as that really. Might make myself a wall poster!

  8. Thanks also kopparrox for your ideas too. My partner is an early riser unlike me, but I am now getting up soon after him and checking blogs. Getting to love the morning light now! Hit the studio after brekky.

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