Every day, our community grows in unexpected and delightful ways. For our Fresh Shops series, sellers who have been on Etsy for a handful of months or are waiting for those first few sales introduce themselves. Here’s a warm welcome to all our newbies!
My name is Chie Miyazaki, and I make ceramics for my shop, CHIESHOP. I am currently based in London, England.
I was born in Japan, near a town called Arita, the biggest producer of ceramics in the country. My family runs a ceramic studio in a small village with a few ceramic studios and a ceramic festival each spring, so I grew up very close to ceramics. I used to enjoy making puppets with clay when I was little. Instead of going to amazing amusement parks or nice sightseeing places, my parents took me to see many ceramic exhibitions. Although I occasionally resented being born into a ceramic family, those experiences made me who I am and are a big part of my ceramic interest.
In 2006, I moved to the UK to study illustration at Camberwell College of Arts. Until then, I had always assumed that illustration had to be on paper or must illustrate text in an editorial format. Studying at Camberwell opened many possibilities for my illustration work. I learned how to think about, look at and put myself into my work. It really inspired me and formed a strong foundation for my creativity.
I began to apply my illustrations to my ceramics and discovered my drawings work really well in this format. When I see the final work on my ceramics, there’s a rawness to the drawings, yet they feel more complete.
My tutor at Camberwell, Luke Best, bought some of my work that I made in Japan for his girlfriend, Laura Carlin. After she received her present, we met up and fell in love with each other’s ceramic works. We held our first collaborative ceramic show, MOO MOO WOOF WOOF, in November 2012, producing over 100 figures, including animals, dinosaurs, buildings, people, planters, and tableware. We’ve recently moved into a shared studio in South London. Working with Laura is such fun and so inspiring — we enjoy the differences and similarities in both our practice and way of seeing things. We are planning to have our next show this November in London.
I look forward to spending more and more time with my ceramics. Ceramics are a very friendly art; you can feel the texture, you can look at the aesthetic, and if they are an animal, you may even feel that they are your own pet!
All images courtesy of CHIESHOP.