Yuki Nyhan – Pottery

Growing up in a Japanese household where each family member has his or her individual rice bowl, chopsticks and drinking vessel (yunomi), I developed an appreciation for the personal nature of pottery.  My special vessels offered me a sense of continuity, comfort and  a sense of belonging.  My favorite piece is a yunomi that belonged to my late father.  It is one he used and enjoyed every day and helps me to feel a connection to him.  I hope that the objects I create will arouse such feelings in others.

Living in a busy city can be both exciting and unnerving.  Working with clay offers me a respite from the activity outside the studio doors.  I am drawn to the idea of creating pottery that evoke the moments of quiet and calm that I feel in the making.   I am mindful of the cycles of nature when I am decorating my pieces. Images of pools icy waters flowing from the mountains in spring or the flowering seasonal plants are inspirations for my designs.

I love working with porcelain because it lends itself to simple and elegant forms.  Its softness and smoothness allows me to alter the wheel thrown shapes to echo the undulation of forms which we find in nature.  Porcelain, with its possible translucency and fluidity, guide the form and glazes which I create.  For me, the potter forms an intimate and affectionate relationship with the materials and that these qualities are, one hopes, reflected in the work.  I feel that my role in the creative process is, in a sense, a supportive one.  One which allows the voice of the clay, the expressiveness of the kiln in which it is fired, and the transformation of the materials in the glazes to emerge.  My goal is for my work to reflect this symbiotic relationship between the materials and the potter.

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