Ayumi Horie sat down with arts writer Jorge Arango to discuss her career.

Originally from Lewiston-Auburn, Ayumi Horie is a full-time studio potter in Portland, Maine. She is recognized as a leader in the field of craft for her work exploring kawaii, the culture of cuteness in Japan, numerous craft projects and her political activism.

In 2015, she was awarded a Distinguished Fellow in Craft grant from United States Artists and in 2011, she was the first recipient of Ceramics Monthly’s Ceramic Artist of the Year award. She has organized multiple online fundraisers including Obamaware in 2008 and Handmade For Japan in 2011, which has raised over $100,000 for disaster relief. In 2020, she was awarded an Honorary Member of NCECA, the National Council for Education in the Ceramic Arts.

In 2016, she co-created Portland Brick, a collaborative public art project, that repaired city sidewalks with bricks made from local clay stamped with past, contemporary, and future memories in the India Street neighborhood in Portland. She is known for Pots In Action, a curatorial project on Instagram that featured international ceramics and guest hosts from all over the world and The Democratic Cup, a political project that sought to catalyze conversation between polarized parties. She has most recently been working on Highfire Feminism, addressing sexism and misogyny in ceramics.

Her work is in numerous public and private collections, including the Museum of Art and Design. She has served on multiple boards and currently is a trustee at the American Craft Council and the President of the board at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. She has taught and lectured nationally and internationally for the past 20 years.

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