Artist Story

Ceramic Artist

Hayashi Mico

Encounter with Ceramic Art

I use ceramics as materials for decorative expression based on the "mystic scene" that spreads within me.

I would like to tell you a little about how I came to start making ceramics.




 Since I was a child, I loved to draw and do crafts. I also spent my days playing pretend games. Decorative, delicately crafted, and colorful things were my favorites then, and they are still my favorites now.

In elementary school, my best friend and I spent every day laughing with our stomachs in our hands. In junior high school, I went to an all-girls' integrated junior and senior high school, where I lived freely with my friends in a free and open school culture. Everyone was really nice.

In my first year of high school, I decided to apply to art school and started attending an art school. From there until I graduated from high school, I spent a lot of time at the school.

 Looking back, I think I had a very happy childhood because I was blessed with good friends and teachers.



[Encounters with ceramics]

After growing up in this way, I decided to go to art school to study what I loved most.

I entered Kanazawa College of Art. Kanazawa, where I lived alone for the first time, was a city with four beautiful seasons and beautiful skies.



At Kanazawa College of Art, the Department of Crafts, I first experienced four courses: dyeing and weaving, lacquer, metalwork, and ceramics, and then I was able to decide on my major. This was my first encounter with ceramics.

I was fascinated by the fun of modeling, and the fascinating process of not knowing what the finished product will be until I opened the door of the kiln.

Ceramic is a "hard" material, but it is "brittle and fragile" when broken, and the white porcelain body appears "soft" when it contains light.

While the artist can directly touch and mold the material with his own hands, the final touches are made in the kiln, away from his hands. This seemingly contradictory characteristic of the material was interesting to me.

In addition, the color and expression of glazes in ceramics can change depending on the preparation. Even a single firing method can make a big difference. I was especially attracted by the fact that crystals are produced accidentally, so their expressions are unique.



Thus, I chose ceramics.

The world of pottery is very deep. The process of firing in a kiln is interesting, but at the same time, there are some failures, such as broken pieces. But that is why it is so rewarding.

 After graduating from graduate school, I worked for a company, but I came back to this path again. From now on, I intend to live my life with ceramics.

I sometimes think about the "finished form" of my work. I feel that even after the work is finished, there is more to it than that. The same work may be received differently depending on the viewer's sensibilities. The work has as many possibilities as the number of sensitivities.

Pottery does not return to the earth. Its existence must be longer than my lifetime. I look at my work with such a feeling as if it were a story that goes on forever. I hope that someone will be able to hold it in their hand and share the story with it.


Mystic scene


I am inspired by the "mystic scene" that spreads within me when I create.

An "mystic scene" is similar to a "dream" that you have when you are asleep. It is a non-existent view that comes to you unconsciously.

Do you dream?

It is your inner world, but it extends into the outer world of your consciousness, or "unconscious" realm. However, when we look at the content of our dreams, we find that they reflect information and experiences that we have taken in during our waking hours.

It is not a world "outside of oneself," but a world "outside of consciousness = unconsciousness. However, since it is still "unconscious," the dream feels fresh even to the dreamer. Dreams are interesting! Even now, as an adult, I still feel this way. 



"mystic scene" are similar to dreams. It is a scene that appears in our mind's eye at a moment when we are not conscious of it.

For example, when you are staring at the wrinkles in a piece of cloth. Suddenly, a view of the desert opens up. The sand is rustling beneath your feet, and a chilly breeze is blowing from the direction of the red setting sun.

When you are eating fruit flavored snacks. Glossy, multicolored little balls fall out of nowhere, bounce around, and finally burst into golden dust. Such a scene unfolds.

My perspective at that time is as if I am inside the world and looking around me.

Wrinkles in a cloth, dust in the corner of a room, bubbles of soda water, smells, tastes, sounds... it appears in contact with all sorts of everyday things. "mystic scene" is the world of my image.



The "mystic scene" that I see now is probably a chemical reaction of various things that I have seen in my life.

Something that is born from within me, yet outside my consciousness. I feel that this mechanism is similar to a dream.

I feel a connection to the ceramic process as well. That is because there is a "process of leaving one's consciousness.

The "firing" process of pottery production takes several days to complete and cool down. Even though the artist has repeated trials and tests, he or she does not know how the piece will actually turn out until the door is opened and the piece is taken out of the kiln. The artist himself is always excited and thrilled when he takes the piece out of the kiln. The firing process inside the kiln is a process close to "unconsciousness" that is out of the artist's hands.

In this sense, I feel that ceramics is a method of expression that suits me now.


I myself enjoy working with my hands. I hope everyone who picks up a copy will enjoy it as well.




Artwork Creation


I work with ceramics. I use different types of clay, such as potter's clay and porcelain clay, depending on the piece. I also use different techniques to create the shape of the base, such as potter's wheel, hand-building, casting, and so on.

Once the base is formed, it is decorated using a technique called itchin. The lines drawn by itchin are three-dimensional and have movement, similar to that of plants.


【The work before unglazed.】


We get a lot of our daily life from our sense of sight. What would happen if we lost our sense of sight? I often think about this. Three-dimensional decoration can be traced when you close your eyes and touch it. In addition to "color," which pleases the sense of sight, I would like to create products while paying attention to the five senses, such as "touch" and "hearing.

The decorated pieces are left to dry for several days before being fired. The firing temperature is raised to 700-800℃, and it takes several days for the kiln to cool down, so it takes several days to remove the pieces.


【After unglazed, the color becomes warmer.】

Glazes are also mixed according to the desired look. The expression will vary depending on the amount of raw materials as well as the firing method. Even with the same glaze, the same expression will not appear every time.

The glaze, created with the best of intentions, enters a world of randomness depending on the kiln. This process, in which the artist is the creator but leaves the work to the outside of his or her own consciousness, is one of the interesting aspects of pottery.


【Testing for fine crystals】


Glaze is applied to the unglazed base, and then the piece is fired. The main firing process takes more time than the unglazing process because it is carried out at a high temperature of over 1200℃. The work is fired in the kiln, and even the artist himself does not know how it will turn out until he opens the door. Often, pieces are damaged at this stage.

It is an exciting and at the same time thrilling process every time.



I sometimes apply overglaze painting and gilding after the main firing. Since the firing temperatures for overglaze painting and gold-glaze painting are different, they require additional firing time in addition to the unglazed and glost firing processes.

In fact, it can take weeks to complete a single piece, as there are not only firing processes, but also molding, drying, glazing, and sanding.

 The taste of the finished product is only possible because each piece is crafted by hand. In this age of overflowing goods, we cherish the texture of one-of-a-kind pieces that are not mass-produced. I hope to create works that are tasteful in their delicacy.

  • Hayashi Mico

    1991  Born in Aichi, Japan

    2014  B.A. Kanazawa College of Art

    2016  M.A. Kanazawa College of Art

    2021  Atelier in Nagoya