Mari was born and raised in Takaoka, Japan, and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1989. She explored different career paths including graphic design, interior design, and textile design before finally finding her calling in clay. Each area of design that Mari has explored has helped her to hone the discipline and skills that she now uses to create artworks in clay. Mari joined the Berkeley Potters Guild in 2017. She creates her ceramic work in her private studio in the guild. Much of her work is now being selected in juried national and international ceramics exhibitions across the US.
Life is like a labyrinth. I began my journey as an artist and designer more than 30 years ago when I made kimonos in Kyoto, Japan using rōketsu-zome, a wax-resist dyeing technique, on silk, for the intricate and beautiful designs. When I moved to the US, my art and design took on a new form, starting in floral design in the ’90s and progressing to interior design and graphic design during the past decade. It wasn’t until recently that my creative spirit finally found its true home in ceramic art.
I have been fascinated with labyrinths since I encountered them during my study in graphic design. I began researching labyrinths and their importance in various cultures around the world. Unlike a maze, a labyrinth has a single entrance and a non-branching (unicursal) path which leads to the center. It represents the journey from birth to death. The twists and turns symbolize the choices we make and the struggles we endure along the way. The labyrinth is an important theme for me and a recurring motif in my work.
During my first few years in the US, I traveled frequently through the Southwest and found an instant connection with the artistry of the Native Americans of that region. Their simple geometric designs used in pottery and handwoven baskets have a timeless quality that transcends cultures and calls to deeper spirituality. The influence of this art can be seen in my “Basket Series”.
I have always been drawn to the geometry of circles. Many of my newer designs incorporate circles into my work. This is something that I have been having a lot of fun with lately, experimenting with different glaze combinations. It also, as labyrinths often do, folds my creative path back onto the wax-resist method I had originally used on silk and now use to create designs on clay.
2019 – MARI IN EXHIBITIONS AND EVENTS
Clay from ACGA (upcoming): An exhibition of ACGA clay artists. Epperson Gallery of Ceramic Art, Crockett, CA. Juried by Tony Natsoulas. May 10–July 7. Opening reception Saturday, May 11, 4:00-6:00 pm. http://eppersongallery.com/2019/04/29/clay-from-acga/
California Clay Competition 2019 (current): The 30th Annual Statewide Juried Exhibition. The Artery, Davis, CA. Juried by Bill Abright. May 3–May 31. Opening reception Friday, May 3, 7-9 pm during the 31st annual ceramic conference, CCACA 2019. http://theartery.net/ccc.html
Off Center 2019 (current): The 3rd Annual International Ceramic Art Competition. Blue Line Arts, Roseville, CA. Juried by Joshua Green. April 5–May 18. Opening reception Saturday, April 20, 5:00-8:30 pm. https://www.bluelinearts.org/off-center-2019
Clay Matters (current): The National Ceramic Art Competition. Epperson Gallery of Ceramic Art, Crockett, CA. Juried by Beth Ann Gerstein. March 22–May 5. Opening reception Saturday, March 23, 4:00-6:00 pm. http://eppersongallery.com/2019/01/20/clay-matters-national-clay-competion/
2018 – MARI IN EXHIBITIONS AND EVENTS
ICAN 2019 Wall Calendar: 2019 ICAN (International Ceramic Artist Network) Wall Calendar contest—Surface Decoration Collection. The calendar is available for purchase here! https://ceramicartsnetwork.org/shop/calendars-for-2019/
Workhouse Clay International 2018: The 8th International Juried Ceramic Exhibition. Vulcan Gallery, Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton, VA. Juried by Eva Kwong. August 11–October 14. Opening reception Friday, August 10, 2018, from 7-9 pm.
ACGA Clay and Glass Festival: Accepted as a new exhibiting member of ACGA (Association of Clay and Glass Artists of California). Participating in the 26th annual ACGA Clay and Glass Festival, Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto, CA. July 14 & 15. https://acga.net/clay-and-glass-festival-press-page/
Ceramic Wall Work: Juried group exhibition. Blue Line Arts, Roseville, CA. Juried by Tony Natsoulas. June 16-July 21. Opening reception Saturday, June 16, 5:00-8:30 pm. Closing reception Saturday, July 21, 5:00-8:30 pm.
Off Center 2018: The 2nd Annual International Ceramic Art Competition. Blue Line Arts, Roseville, CA. Juried by Michelle Gregor. June 16-July 21. Opening reception Saturday, June 16, 5:00-8:30 pm. Closing reception Saturday, July 21, 5:00-8:30 pm.
California Clay Competition 2018: The 29th Annual Statewide Juried Exhibition. The Artery, Davis, CA. Juried by Tiffany Schmierer. *Creative Ceramics Juror’s Award. April 27-May 25. Opening reception Friday, April 27, 7-9 pm during the 30th annual ceramic conference, CCACA 2018. http://theartery.net/docs/2018-ccc-cat.pdf
ICAN 2018 Juried Show at NCECA: ICAN (International Ceramic Artist Network) annual juried exhibition at the 52nd NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) conference, Pittsburgh, PA. Juried by Forrest Gard. March 14–16th. https://ceramicartsnetwork.org/ican/juried-show/
Fahrenheit 2018 Biennial: International Juried Ceramic Exhibition. AMOCA (American Museum of Ceramic Art), Pomona, CA. Juried by Patti Warashima. March 10–July 22. http://www.amoca.org/fahrenheit2018/
2017 – MARI IN EXHIBITIONS AND EVENTS
Craft Forms 2017: The 23rd International Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Fine Craft. Davenport Gallery, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA. Juried by Nora Atkinson. December 9, 2017–January 27, 2018. http://www.craftforms.org/exhibitions/craft-forms-2017/
ICAN 2018 Wall Calendar: 2018 ICAN (International Ceramic Artist Network) Wall Calendar contest—General category. The calendar is available for purchase here! https://ceramicartsnetwork.org/shop/calendars-for-2018/
Workhouse Clay International 2017: The 7th International Juried Ceramic Exhibition. Vulcan Gallery, Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton, VA. Juried by Chris Gustin. August 12–October 8.
Visions in Clay 2017: The 8th National Juried Ceramic Art Exhibition. LH Horton Jr Gallery, San Joaquin Delta College, Stockton, CA. Juried by John Toki. August 24–September 15. https://www.deltacollege.edu/div/finearts/dept/dca/gallery/exhibit1/
Off Center 2017: International Ceramic Art Competition. Crocker Family Gallery, Blue Line Arts, Roseville, CA. Juried by Sandra Simon and Robert Brady. April 14–May 27.
Ceramic Innovations: International Juried Ceramics Exhibition. Davenport Gallery, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA. Juried by Chris Gustin. Co-Juror of Awards, Jim Lawton. *Award of Merit. April 1–April 29. http://www.wayneart.org/exhibitions/ceramic-innovations/
2016 – MARI IN EXHIBITIONS AND EVENTS
Plates and Totem: The 6th Annual Ceramic Art Show. Crocker Family Gallery, Blue Line Arts, Roseville, CA. Juried by Tony Natsoulas. October 7–November 19.
RARE EARTH: National Ceramics Exhibition. Cabrillo Gallery, Cabrillo College, Aptos, CA. Juried by Kirk Delman. October 3–October 28.
Visions in Clay 2016: National Ceramic Art Exhibition. LH Horton Jr Gallery, San Joaquin Delta College, Stockton, CA. Juried by Liz Quackenbush. August 25–September 16. https://www.deltacollege.edu/div/finearts/dept/dca/gallery/exhibit1/archive/2016/index.html