Born and raised in Takaoka, Japan, Mari lived in Kyoto for 10 years where she studied textile design and worked as an assistant kimono designer. In 1989 she moved to the states and worked as a floral designer in the San Francisco Bay Area for 10 years. She then studied and worked as an interior designer until the housing market crash in the late 2000’s. After the crash, Mari relocated to Boston where she returned to school and received her BFA with honors in Graphic Design from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2012. Mari now resides in the San Francisco Bay Area where she studies and works in clay.
Mari has always been drawn to the creative arts and to the essentials of design. Each area of art and design that Mari has explored has resulted in the culmination of experiences, discipline, and skills that embody the artwork that she now creates in clay. Much of her work has started 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. As I moved to the US, my art and design took on different media, starting in floral design in the 90’s and progressing to interior design and graphic design during the past decade. It wasn’t until a few years ago that my creative spirit finally found its true home as a ceramic artist.
Labyrinths are an important theme for me. During my study in graphic design, I began researching labyrinths and their importance in various cultures around the world. Labyrinths represent the singular path that we travel from birth through death. The twists and turns symbolize the choices we make and the struggles we endure along the way. Much of my art has a labyrinthine theme, either by explicitly including labyrinth designs into my pieces or through much more subtle inclusion of the labyrinth motif into 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 have a timeless quality that transcends cultures and calls to a deeper spiritualism. The influence of this art can be seen in my basket series.
More recently, I have 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 experimenting with. 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.
Craft Forms 2017, 23rd International Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Fine Craft in Wayne, PA
December 8, 2017 – January 27, 2018
Clay International 2017, 7th International Juried Ceramic Exhibition in Lorton, VA
August 12 – October 8, 2017
Visions in Clay 2017, 8th National Juried Ceramic Art Exhibition in Stockton, CA
Mari’s work is featured on exhibition postcards and posters!
August 24 – September 15, 2017
Off Center, International Ceramic Art Competition in Roseville, CA
April 14 – May 27, 2017
Ceramic Innovations, International Juried Ceramics Exhibition in Wayne, PA
Mari received an Award of Merit!
April 1 – April 29, 2017