8 January 2017

New Year Open Studio & Sale


Thank you so much for those who came to my first ever Open Studio & Sale this Saturday. 

It was lovely to catch up with some old friends and meet new faces. It was such a great turn out. Having been so busy than I expected, I’d completely forgotten to take any photos on the day! Instead, I have collected some images from the day before to share with you, especially those who could not make it. 

3% of sales will be donated to Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and Children’s Hospital, in the hope of helping children who require specialist doctors and equipment to treat rare but severe medical condition, like our daughter.

So many pots happily went to new homes and we have raised lots of donation, so thank you so so much! m x

2 January 2017

2017


A Happy New Year to you all! 

Unlike my usual state, last year’s resolution “reopening the studio door” was happily achieved, so I am well chuffed. 

As for this year, I’d love to say “concentrating in the studio work more”, but this will come with life balance and negotiation with other commitments, so for now let me say “a little more moving forward”. And “good health”, that’s everything! 

How about you? 

Today I emptied the shelf and the cabinet top, getting ready for Open Studio & Sale this Saturday. It'll be held in our home, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire. If you are near by, please call at. For more info, please email me to makikohastings@gmail.com 

m x 


20 December 2016

Counting down

Thank you everybody for visiting my blog and support for this year. Wishing you all a lovely Christmas and a wonderful new year! Here are my ever growing Instagram snaps from our household. m x 


8 December 2016

New Year Open Studio & Stock Sale


Here is something you might be interested in after the Christmas rush. 

I will be doing my first open studio & stock sale on Saturday 7th January 2017 from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Many of porcelain lilypads (above image) and “hanetsubo” series will be on sale with a big discount, as well as some old stock of tableware, many prints and one off pieces.

Why not join us celebrating the new year with a mulled wine (can’t get enough surely!?) and Japanese nibbles? A unique opportunity to sneak peek my studio too! 

3% of sales will be donated to Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and Children’s Hospital.

It will be held at our home in North Yorkshire. If you are interested in, please drop me an email to makikohastings@gmail.com I will send you an invite soonish! Hope you can make it! m x

1 December 2016

Smile Maker of the Week #14 - illustration by Sanae Sugimoto


A beautifully illustrated postcard by Sanae Sugimoto has arrived from Japan. 

Among many artists with multi disciplines, I truly admire illustrators the most. Their expression and sense of originality cannot be underestimated. Think about it, they use a pen and paper. Ok there are more variety of materials and techniques they must use like any other art of course, but basically they use a pen and paper like we all have since we were kids. Using such basic tools and on 2D, those brilliant illustrators can express precisely their own world, connect us and make us awe. That itself is so powerful skill I think. 

With that in mind, I love following many of illustrators who I admire, and Sanae Sugimoto is one of those wonderful talents. I remember that I was thoroughly excited when I first found her work via Instagram. She uses just black and ‘shu’ red of Japanese calligraphy ink, which creates rather nostalgic images with her distinctive drawing. I fell in love with her work instantly. 

This postcard was from her current solo exhibition in Hiroshima, Japan. I really do wish I could go. You can find out more of her beautiful work in her site. (→here). m x 

28 November 2016

Giveaway Result!


Thank you for those who entered my Christmas Giveaway via my blog (English and Japanese one). My little assistant has chosen a winner out of her santa hat this afternoon. 

The winner for 2016 is 

tuki tuki 12

Congratulations, tuki tuki 12! Please email me your postage name and address to makikohastings@gmail.com, so that I can post to you soon. 

Thanks everyone for participating! m x 

20 November 2016

CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY


Hello everyone. I used to do giveaway in my blog this time of year but I haven’t done it for ages, so I thought I’d like to do another Christmas giveaway today. 

The item that I would like to giveaway is my handmade porcelain wreath. Hope it will find a lovely new home in time for Christmas. Here is how to enter!

1) Please leave a comment in this blog post. You will get a draw. 

2) If you follow my Instagram (or are already following), you will get another draw.
3) If you like my Facebook page (or are already liking), you will get another draw. 

We will then put all entry names together in a hat and pick one winner. For instance, if you have done all of the above, we will have your three draws in a hat. Simple!

Please let me know if you have a different account name.  

I will close the entry on Sun 27th 9pm (GMT)
The result will be up on the blog post on Monday 28th. 

Please feel free to share the info. Good luck! m x 

8 November 2016

Post Crafted By Hand


Two day event Crafted By Hand has now finished. I have forgotten how tiring it can be after three years. Today was meant to be my studio working day but instead I was sorting out all those after event chaos and have a bit of rest!

It was lovely to be back in the event like this, meeting new people and sharing handcraft spirit. Nice to see my work have flown to new homes too. 

Next post, I am thinking about Christmas giveaway. So stay tuned. m x 

1 November 2016

C-word is ready for the show!


Ok, it’s November and my next show is on this weekend (yeek!), so please allow me to finally mention Christmas! 

All of my Christmas hanging decorations I make were originally from my annual task for my nieces and nephews in Japan. I have been making different designs each year. This year I added a new face with more intricate design using porcelain clay. I really enjoyed making them, as well as all of the other decorations. I think making even a bit “twee” decoration is also forgiven in this time of year? Hope you can find your favourite. 


All Christmas decorations are available at CRAFTED BY HAND on this weekend. xm 

28 October 2016

rakugaki


One more week to go to the show! Eeek! Am I ready???

Following the last post, today I’d like to show “rakugaki” series. “rakugaki” means “doodling” in Japanese. It's all about everyday functional ware that comes in a simple shape. This hopefully enhances the playfulness of doodling on the surface, which is spontaneous and fun. No two images are the same. 

When I first started this series, I used a ceramic crayon to literally draw images on biscuit ware. Then I wanted to develop a little more bold image, so instead I tried slip decoration with newspaper cutout like stencilling, which was just right for me combining with my fav technique scraffitto (scratching through clay). The process of slip decoration needs to be all done at leather hard stage, so currently an one-day-a-week mummy potter finds this difficult to achieve and lots of night shifts involves... but the result always gives me a smile. Hope it does it to you too.


All “rakugaki” pieces are available at CRAFTED BY HAND. xm 

21 October 2016

mazekoze


Counting down to the next show CRAFTED BY HAND in Masham, North Yorkshire on 5th & 6th November. Prior to that I have been posting some images of my work daily on my Instagram. Thought I’d share here too for those who’s not so familiar with Instagram. (although you can see it without Instagram account) 

Today I’d like to show “mazekoze” series. “mazekoze” means “mixing up” in Japanese. The idea of this series is to mix pieces in many combinations to enjoy at the table as if you are making surface pattern. They come in different shapes, sizes and colours. I worked on this glaze for a while in particular to get this semi matt texture and certain colour variation. I'm planning to develop two more tones but it may take a while again as I experiment with natural materials rather than using readymade commercial colourants, so tiny percentage difference of oxide can go wrong, but I love the moment when you finally achieved what you want like these yellow ochre and grey! 


All “mazekoze” pieces are available at CRAFTED BY HAND. xm 

17 October 2016

visiting David


Last weekend we went to Hebden Bridge to visit my late mentor David C White’s grave yard. It’s been already five years this October since he passed away. It was rather emotional day for me. 

Before he died, I promised him that I shall carry his spirit in me. So I did, working hard and actually had a good start of my studio time after the graduation of BA in 2012. Then shortly after that the things have significantly changed, because of my pregnancy and my daughter’s unforeseen medical condition. The priority quickly shifted. As you know I kept the studio door closed for three years. You might think returning to the studio must be giving me a fantastic feeling. Well it was and also it was not. My self esteem and confidence could not keep up, as I struggled with timing and fatigue from working just one day a week plus many night shift after daytime job as an instructor for the rest of the week. In the back of my mind, I felt really bad for not keeping my promise to David and felt like I let him down. Of course I do what I do for me, not for him. But I had this niggly feeling all the time. 

Interestingly since I started my Instagram, I have connected with many fellow potters and potter enthusiasts. They have been a great asset and online community to share the knowledge, skills and more so passion. They encourage each other. Slowly something inside me clicked and started to look up more. I realised I felt much happier showing my work and getting feedback. This helped me to keep my mind focused on what I really like to do. Since I’m getting this solid feeling as I felt happier, that also affected how I speak to my family. The whole thing connected again. 

When we went up to David’s beautiful grave stone, which was made by his fellow potter Jim Robison, I asked my daughter to say hello to David and give him a hug. So she did. She called the grave yard “David’s mountain”. Indeed we went up the little mountain to look down a breathtaking view of Hebden Bridge that he used to long for his ideal studio view. He is up there now, so I guess he’s happy.

After placing a bunch of dried lavender, I quietly told him.
“I’m keeping your spirit, so not to worry.”


Sun was shining beautifully on the hill as we went down. 

m x

8 October 2016

Smile Maker of the Week #13 - ceramics by Florian Gadsby


Hello everyone. I haven’t posted much here lately, as all of the Team Hastings has been ill health one after another nearly for a month! Hopefully we are almost on the mend. 

Today I would like to share with you these beautiful ceramics by the young sensational potter Florian Gadsby. If you love functional tableware, he really is the one to watch!

Florian works at Maze Hill Pottery with Lisa Hammond, one of the most established potters in UK and beyound today. Recently he completed his two year apprenticeship with Lisa, and now he has started making his own work alongside with making work for her. Some of you might have already seen his work and even he has been featured in ceramic reviews for his hugely growing audience through his Instagram. Being a busy mum for a little three-na-ger, sadly my subscription has not even been opened, so I missed the kick start! It’s only been a few months since I first came across his work via Instagram. (I only started Instagram this summer, finally catching up with 21st century!) I then quickly became a regular reader of his posts or rather it’s a bit like an addiction to me. 

Florian’s Instagram is a packed full of delicious images. Just flicking through all of them takes you to a great trip to learn his talent, skills and eyes for beauty. But what makes his Instagram so unique and outstanding is his words alongside the image. Whether that is about glazing or turning, he always writes in so much detail. It’s so informative, so articulate, so consistent. He also shows video too, which is often focused on one small topic, rather than a full lengthy throwing process with time-lapse. I find this much more effective for viewers and certainly captures the detailed skills, that you may want to learn from. I guess many readers, if they are potter learners especially, must have felt so grateful with his online tuition. It has already helped me a lot too, especially since my mentor passed away and I have been off studio work for so long, my self-taught throwing skills has got rusty. 

This week, the order has arrived to our home. Having actually seen his work in reality, I have certainly fallen in love with his ceramic ware with the beautiful white crackled glaze. I have never been familiar with any crackled glaze before. I think I've found the ultimate beauty here. 



Any functional ware we bought from many favourite potters are used at our table. It’s such a joy to celebrate family meals this way and we would like to continue to do so. Sabrina has now officially started to use one of his bowls. I am happy for her to be able to feel the craftsmanship in her little hands. 

Personally, every time I see his post, I truly admire his passion and enthusiasm toward the pottery. This has influenced me deeply and made me realise what I would really like to pursue, so I am very thankful for him more than the pot itself. 

After this years work with Lisa, Florian is planning to work on his own studio. I am so looking forward to seeing him embracing the future. I think he will go beyond anybody’s expectations including himself.

Find out more his work and check out his shop update in his Instagram (→here). 

m x 

3 October 2016

Crafted By Hand


Date for your diary. I am currently working hard toward the show, Crafted By Hand in Masham, North Yorkshire on Sat 5th & Sun 6th November. It’s been three years since I last attended any event, so really nervous but also exciting! 

This week it will be the final stage of making, then next week onward it will be moving onto sorting display and props, pricing and photo shooting. Hopefully in coming weeks I will be posting more images of work for the show, so watch this space. 

Please visit my Instagram where I post almost daily. 

If you are near and about Yorkshire, please pop over to the show. If you would like the details, please email me. Thank you. x m 

2 September 2016

bedroom debut

この記事を日本語で読む(→こちら

Another first time episode. Sabrina has moved into her new bedroom officially last week. 

She did not have her own bedroom up until now. Instead, since she was born, she was sleeping in the corner of our bedroom, where used to be our wardrobe. Some may find this strange or even pity, as most families in UK put their baby into a different room at very early stage, certainly after stopping breastfeeding. It’s a kind of norm to me though, who comes from a culture where all the family often sleep in one room when the babies were young. We did it and my brother still does. But the main reason was the fact that we just did not have time to prepare it. I was working right close to the due day and then we are still working on our bathroom until a few days before she was popped! 

Her bedroom at that time was for her big brother. We planned to move his room into our guest room, which was temporarily used by my mum who was helping us and even after she’d gone home it became a storage room as we were just too busy. So the priority wasn’t her bedroom but providing somewhere she could sleep, hence we shuffled our wardrobe space. I did decorated that small space for her though, as you can see. (and that was done a few days before she popped, too!)


Now she is three, toilet trained, learning towards independency everyday and (AND!) she is going to school next year! Eeeek! We thought it’s time now, so our moving plan began this summer. Shifting stuff from one room to another, moving her big brother to an empty room, then decorating again. Not that straight forward and it took time for us, as everything was done in between looking after her. But finally we have finished it. The result? 

Happy girl! m x