26 November 2017

SHOP OPEN!


Finally my online shop has gone live tonight!

Hope you can pop over and have a loooook! You can view from my website → here 

(Shop will be closing on Friday day 15th December.) 

Any feedback is welcome. Enjoy!

m x

11 November 2017

Christmas Makers Market


Ok, it’s not too early to mention Christmas now, right?
Are you a early planner, or like me rather leaving till the last minute?
Whichever the case you are, here is the event you may like to anticipate this season.

I will be attending Christmas Makers Market on Saturday 25th November at Rural Art, among with other artists. Rural Arts is a beautiful gallery with lots of fun workshop and a lovely cafe, located in a Yorkshire town, Thirsk. If you are near by, why not pop over for your first Christmas shopping? (or even last for a well-organised person!) 

Meeting makers and artists is a great fun, talking to them and finding out their insight. Purchasing something directly from them is rather special too. 

I will be showcasing a selection of tableware, as well as Christmas decorations and hangings. 

my Christmas bells will be also available

The show is from 10 am to 4pm. For direction and more information, please visit the website Rural Arts. Looking forward to meeting you.

*   *   *

Those who cannot be near Yorkshire, my online shop will be open soon. If you don’t want miss out, please sign up to my newsletter to get early notification. You can do so via my website


Thank you so much for your support.

27 October 2017

NEW WEBSITE


Hello everyone!

I have been rather quiet here lately. Where did October go?? Honestly!

Actually there were lots of things I wanted to write about in my blog, but with lots of things to be done, time always seems to be gone by before I get a chance to write anything! Agh!

Anyway, here is a brief but BIG NEWS for you.

My new website has gone live! 

I have been aiming to upgrade my website since Sabrina was born, then four years have passed. (whoops!) Doing it all by yourself is not so easy for a non-tech person like me. But I did it!

Right now, I am on the next stage, which is setting up my online shop, which I am hoping to open by the end of November. Fingers crossed. 

In the meantime, hope you can enjoy viewing my website and let me know what you think. Any feedback is welcome. 

If you would like to know about my shop update and future event, please sign up for my newsletter. You can receive early notification.

All link is here; makikohastings.com

Thank you so much for your support. x m

13 September 2017

Wardlow Mires Pottery & Food Festival

show venue in the middle of beautiful Peak District (before the storm!)
A huge and belated thank you for those who came to Wardlow Mires Pottery & Food Festival last weekend despite the horrendous weather. You were all amazing! If you have seen my story clip from Instagram, you could tell the buzz of the venue. I was actually stunned how busy it was! It was wonderful to meet so many people, had a chat about work and life, and to see off many of my work to happy new homes. Thank you so much!

Here are a round up of this show and more of goodies from other potters at the end. Hope you enjoy! 

“A celebration of the table”

A keyword of this show by the organiser Pat Fuller was stuck in my head since I first heard about this event a few years ago. To me, pottery has always been to be used and enjoyed at the table, which was deep in the food-culture in my Japanese background. However, as you can find so many industrial ceramics out there, I guess it is not as easy as you think for people to bring “handmade” pottery to home. But actually I feel more and more people enjoy their home cooked meal with family and friends these days, and they are realising that a joy of the table can be brought with handmade pottery to serve the food. I’ve been holding this idea, which is quite a basic but easily forgotten, as the main reason that I love making pottery and love to share with people. 

So with a lots of expectation, I finally visited the event last summer. Well, you know what? It went beyond my expectation. It was bloody brilliant! Up until then, when it comes to ceramic event, tableware were not necessary the centre of focus. But this show was all about it, which was exactly what I was looking for. So you know how much I was delighted to take part of this show. I cannot thank the organiser Pat enough for being so kind and encouraging. 

my stand at the show (need more refining!)

Setting up with my display stand whilst you look around many established potters’s wonderful displays wasn’t an easy one. I kept feeling that my stand looked rubbish and amateurish. Not enough height, not enough impact. I was rather disheartened to be honest. The space in our car was limited with my daughter and camping gears, as one of my excuses. Yet the show like this is actually a good place to learn, too. I hope I will get better at it with practice over time.


As you can see, I displayed two of my recent work, “rakugaki” (blue and white series) and “mazekoze” (four coloured) in symmetrical way. The interesting thing from this show for me was to hear what people say about my work. 

my "rakugaki" mugs and jugs

Many mentioned that “rakugaki” has a sort of Scandinavian feel. I do love Scandi style myself, but have never thought about it when I was making these. It’s rather nice to know such taste comes out naturally not deliberately, so I am very happy.

"mazekoze" nesting bowls

As for “mazekoze”, the colours and the texture of glazes were well received. If you’re my blog reader for a while, you know it took me a long time to get these colours, so it is nice to hear such a good response. Some says “organic”, some says beautiful to the eyes and to touch. That made my day!

Many also mentioned that they can see Japanese-ness in my “caring to the details” approach, but there are also freedom in designs like Western. What a great compliment! Thank you everyone. 

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Now, you know I cannot take my eyes off other potters as a pottery lover. There were many established and talented potters at the show. I would like to share some of my favourites with you. 

I have been a big fan of Isabel’s work for some time now as I posted in the past (here). Those colourful surface decoration are truly joy to the eyes and we enjoy having a cuppa in her lovely mug everyday. 

colourful stand with ISABEL MERRICK
bird butter dish by ISABEL MERRICK


Actually Isabel has been a great asset for me to come to this show. Always encouraging and giving me positive feedback, and in fact she was the one who persuaded me to apply for this show a year ago. It is so fortunate to meet someone like Isabel, as I feel like I have got a mentor! Thank you Isabel, as always. It was lovely seeing you again, (and your fabulous tent with fairly lights!) 

I have never met Margaret before, but she approached me to say that she’s been reading my blog. You know I share about my daughter’s condition etc in blog, talking to her felt like rather personal and intimate. 

MARGARET BRAMPTON and her stand
an excellent owl bowl by MARGARET BRAMPTON

Margaret produces traditional slipware with sgraffito decoration, many of which are flora and fauna. I was instantly drawn to her owl bowl with a quirky handle. You know I could not resist! Happily came home with us. Thank you Margaret, it was so lovely to meet you. 

Fleen’s stand was directly opposite to me. I haven’t seen her work at first hand before but I knew from an article in Ceramic Review. Fleen makes wood-fired salt-glazed stoneware with stamped surface decoration, which is her unique charms. She also makes simple yet elegant porcelain pieces. 

FLEEN DORAN and her beautiful salt-glazed work

Fleen kindly shared her tips about online shop, mailing list etc and all was very helpful information for me, as I am hoping to build that up this year. She is now expecting her first baby and it was lovely to chat with her, and she also spoken to my daughter at the site. All the best Fleen and looking forward to hear if it’s a girl or a boy! 

Ben’s free, wild and somewhat primitive drawings on his work are just so appealing to many of us, I’m sure. They make us happy! It's a simple fact! 

BEN’s whimsical drawings bring us happiness
A man to watch! BEN FOSKER

His drawings fascinate me a lot. As I also draw my “rakugaki” series, it’s good to get inspiration from other artists work too. Having spoken to him over Facebook for some years now, it is strange to meet him this way because you don’t feel like a first time. He is indeed a lovely chap as you imagined and kindly shared the story about his family and his thought about the show. 
wonderful owl platter by BEN FOSKER

I always wanted his work one day, so this owl platter now sat on my bird wall looking at us everyday. 

As I was looking around prior to the show starts, Sheila’s pottery was the very first one that I was attracted to. 

 pencil drawings by SHEILA HERRING

SHEILA HERRING and her stand

She explores the surface design with pencil line drawings and sgraffito. I just love those techniques and tools. As you might remember that I used to use pencil line drawings on my old “rakugaki”, it brought a smile to my face when I saw her work. With additional colours and dark clay that she altered its shape and embossed pattern, her work brings to life. 

my fav jug of the day by SHEILA HERRING

I adore this jug with a flower handle. What a creation! Great meeting you Sheila. 

Finally I cannot thank enough for this opportunity to Pat the organiser of this wonderful event. Her friendly, welcoming and down-to-earth character is such an admiration to many of us, certainly to me and helped put me at ease at the show. 

beautiful teapot and cups by PAT FULLER

We returned home with a perfect memory too. We shall treasure them. 


Thank you so much for reading along! Hope you enjoy it and find your favourite too. You can click each name to visit the potter’s website to find out more. 

3 September 2017

Northern Ireland part 2: what the beautiful beach means to us


Continued from the previous travel post from our family holiday in Northern Ireland. Today’s post is about a little bit more personal issue about the beach and my girl. 

Northern Ireland landscapes were simply spectacular. They are truly beautiful and peaceful. We visited four beaches in 2 days, including the famous Giant Causeway, which was so interesting to see and we had a lovely walk down there in a fresh air. But all in all, we love White Rocks the best. It was such a calm and clean beach. I’ve never seen any beach that more beautiful than that before, certainly not in UK. 


During our stay, pretty much every night it had rained as weather forecast said, so we were expecting walking around in a rain coat. But guess what? We had so much sunshine during the day time! Hurray!

So we quickly changed the plan and drove toward the beach. At this point, we did not know about White Rocks beach but it was the first one we could see, so we decided to have a go. As soon as we walked down to the beach, our daughter Sabrina was absolutely excited. 


“Mummy, can I take my shoes off?” she asks. 
“Off course you can.” 

Off she went with her smile and giggles that has no end.
The best part of our family holiday it was.

Sandy beach must have been a family holiday destination. Children love sand and water, full stop. We all know that.

But we didn’t really do that up until now, due to the fact that Sabrina has had a doctor warning for sand playing.


As I mentioned before, my girl has eye condition called Peter’s Anomaly and has cornea transplanted on her one eye. Other eye's cornea is very thin. Although both corneas remain healthy today, the loss of sight from the infection and the risk of rejection of graft still remains too, which can be caused by the damage of the surface of her eyes by rubbing sandy eyes, so her doctor always cautioned us ever since. She was basically too young to be able to handle sand carefully due to her dexterity and also to follow our reminder of “not to rub”. So even at the nursery, she did not play with sand, unless closely supervised like 1:1, which wouldn’t be most of the case. I used to feel bad and maybe over protective, but we could not weigh the same as missing a fun play for a short while to her difficult start we went through and the miracle she had gained (her sight). 


But that slowly has changed. As I wrote last summer (in this post), Sabrina had a little “sand debut” at the age of three. It was the moment that she experienced the sand for the first time and was also the moment that I almost cried. Thereafter, we visited the beach near us for several times to let her experience more sand plays at the beach, the feel of waves and the smell of ocean. She loved it of course, but we still remained as careful as we always did. For that I guess I may not have been freeing her as much as I should. 


The thing is that this girl learns by herself all the time. Through a little experience of her world. Risk taking is always there in order to have fun. So this time, I let her go. Wild and free as she can be. Oh, she was ecstatic! Running around with her barefoot. Splashing the water. Stamping the sand and wetting her bottom. I can still hear her laughs and giggles when I see those photos. As normal kids do. She was having such a great time. 

The beach gave us the most beautiful memory of our family. 

2 September 2017

Northern Ireland part 1: collecting a hot pot by Adam Frew

gorgeous blue swish surface decorations

Hello September.  I can already feel autumn in the air. But before I anticipate my love of autumn, I’d like to share a bit of our summer holiday in Northern Ireland. As it is my travel post routine (is there such a thing?), I would like to share in two parts. Today, part 1 is about our journey to collect a gorgeous pottery!

If you work with clay, it’s natural to fall in love with many ceramic work by other potters and artists all over the world. I have so many that I admire even just in UK, but with my hands down, my top favourite has always been Adam Frew.

Adam and shelf-full of his wonderful work 

I’ve blogged about his pot before (click here) but my actual first sight to his pot was almost decade ago. His massive thrown pot with his celadon glaze and his quirky surface decoration instantly caught my eyes as I was passing by a gallery in York. I remember I was feeling too timid to go inside, so I walked back and forth by that window to try to see more of his pot.

I’ve admired his wonderful work ever since. What I love about his work most is the beautiful surface decoration. Unique, spontaneous and lively. His decoration has changed and evolved over years, for which I thoroughly enjoy viewing, more so with Instagram today. I have slowly collected some of his tableware with old and new designs, and we absolutely love them and enjoy using them. I adore the recent cobalt painterly decorations so much and I guess his inspiration comes from the seaside, which I can tell why after visiting beautiful beaches in the area. (I will write about this in next post) 

we had lunch on Adam's handmade plate at babushka cafe

Luckily I had several opportunities to meet Adam and his wife Catherine (glass artist but currently on maternity leave with a gorgeous baby girl) who both used to exhibit at BCTF, where I was taking part as my degree course at local college. He also came to the college to demonstrate, so I was lucky enough to see his skills and insight much closer. 

So, what is about our trip to Northern Ireland and Adam’s pots?

Well, it was before last Christmas that we started to thinking about this. Although celebration is not really our thing, as this year is our ten years anniversary, we were thinking about having something special to us, more precisely to our loving home. A bit personal choice of mine but I suggested Adam’s moon jar. I’ve been watching how he make them, they are totally blowing my mind, but also easily blow your budget too, so I’ve never thought I could have one. Then my kind husband actually loved the idea! He thought it would go so well on our new dining cabinet, where we can see everyday.

Adam’s studio view

I contacted him to see if he would do a commission for us. The answer was yes! What’s next? A trip to Northern Ireland, to collect the commissioned moon jar AND to view his studio. My absolute dream plan has begun. Together with my parents fiftieth anniversary and they are coming from Japan this summer, it was perfect reason that we all go to Northern Ireland for a holiday. 

sneak peek of his drawings

Actual visit was lovely. We met their baby daughter, who also welcomed us at the studio entrance. Adam was shying out about his studio being messy, but I always love looking artists work place so it was truly enjoyable. Adam kindly prepared several moon jars for us to choose from. Everything looks gorgeous, but my husband and I loved the same one, (thank god!) so we’ve brought the piece back home happily. 

As we had a little Sabrina, Catherine kindly suggested to go a children’s play gym all together after our studio visit. Sabrina had a wonderful time, as well as we chat about work and family life, which was also lovely. 

the moon jar happily sits in our dining room today

Thank you so much Adam and Catherine for having us and giving us such a precious time.

Go check his website and his Instagram for more beautiful work.

26 August 2017

open studio


At first two weekends in August, I had my open studio as a part of FEVA arts trail (festival of entreatments and visual arts in Knaresborough). Thank you so much for those who visited. It was lovely seeing familiar faces as well as meeting new people. 

As always, I have combined open studio sale with fundraising for Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. Many thanks again for those who kindly contributed to the donations. 

For those who could not make it, I have made a short film for you. Hope you can enjoy it as much as I did! (if you cannot view below, you can also view it via vimeo here)


31 July 2017

Seeing a rainbow


Seeing a rainbow. 
Four years ago I took this for granted. Everybody can do it. I was wrong.

My daughter Sabrina was born with very severe eye condition called Peter’s Anomaly. Her eyes looked white opaque, as opposed to you’d have excited to find out what colour your new born’s eyes are. When the doctor eventually diagnosed it and explained that she was blind, my heart sunk. No family trace. Just a bad luck. It was a very rare condition like 2-3 cases in 10,000. She had a combined developmental problem with her eyes that required attention, as well as high pressure on her eyes risking potential damage. So she had to start medication immediately. She was only three day’s old.

You can read more detailed story in the blog post I wrote in the past. (here) To cut it short, our new family life turned into unexpectedley tough journey. Especially for little Sabrina. She had over 100 hospital appointments ever since, three major operations, after-op life threatening illness, on-going medication, daily activities to stimulate her developmental delay due to her lack of sight. We were just surviving everyday. 

If there is a miracle, I’d say this was it.

We fortunately met a specialist doctor who could offer Sabrina a chance of cornea transplant surgery. It is known to be a difficult one, especially for babies due to the risk of rejection. I was told that it would be less than 50% of success rate, and if fails, she could lose her eyes. 
I still think she was a lucky one as she has gradually gained a sight after the operation. (she had a transplant on her one eye) It was a miracle moment when she first found her own hands, and of course when she first looked at our eyes with her new eyes.

Sabrina started to wear eye patch and glasses when she was still a little baby

We have been watching this little girl learn so much as she grew. I mean, for her sight wise. How she sees is different from us. Her brain needed to adapt her way of seeing. With combination of eye patch training, stimuli training, on-going medication, she has adapted how she can see better in her own way to compensate the disadvantage. (mostly she tilts her head in a certain angle)

Her body did too, as she struggled to follow moving objects due to her limited peripheral vision and Nystagmus (involuntary eye movement). She often used to bump into other children but leant to move more carefully. 

She wears sun glasses outdoor all year as her eyes are sensitive to light and glare. (By the way did you know BONO from U2 are wearing sun glasses because of his eye condition?) This helped her moving around, but seeing moving objects outdoor was probably the most difficult task for her, such as flying birds, butterflies, aeroplanes, hopping squirrels… and rainbows. She could not see a rainbow. I used to explain what it looks like using a picture book, but her eyes could just not work that way for a long time. 

So you can imagine how delighted when she first recognised those things. 
“Mummy, it’s an aeroplane!” Pointed out a little object in the sky. I remember tears came down to my cheek. I think this was when she was around three years old, she gradually started to recognise those things she didn’t before. 

A miracle moment - seeing a rainbow

Then one day she pointed out through the window, “mummy it’s a rainbow”. That moment I felt really magical. It's difficult to see light (rainbow) not an object and through windows that can cause her glare. Despite all the difficulties, she has managed to identify the rainbow by herself.

A happy girl turned to four recently
Sabrina continues to visit hospitals, take numbers of medications and carries the risk of the cornea rejection for the rest of her life. However, she is a happy, caring and confident four year’s old today. For this, we can’t thank enough for great specialist team at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, where they trains new doctors who can diagnose and treat someone like her in the future. 

This is the reason why I choose to donate 3% of profits from my open studio sale. I will be having another one in August. If you would like more information, please email me or visit FEVA art trail. Thank you for your support. 

18 July 2017

long way to come?


How long do you preserve your idea? 
How far do you stretch them? 
How many time do you try and change? 

My pottery work goes through many paths and different stages.
This can mean about the actual process of pottery, like throwing and firing, but what I also mean is about the idea. I mean how the idea becomes the real thing. It goes through the trials and errors, goes back and forth, until it gets to the point that you feel happy with. It may sound like a long winding road. I sometimes even doubt if I am wasting my time. But at the same time, I know it’s important for me to evolve through those paths. It gives me a reflection, direction and in the end, satisfaction. 


Whether you believe or not, the original idea of “mazekoze” series goes back to 2011!  The idea of “mixing them up” , the meaning of “mazekoze”, was already there, but I was struggling with making into the actual shape and colour that I felt right. In fact I was stuck with making more surface pattern with single colour at first. (see in this post)

Then later I started to focus on different colour combination rather than too many different surface patterns. This was around 2012, when I completed my BA. It was a good result and I felt that was much closer to my idea, so I have made quite a lot of batches. (see the post here)


Unfortunately this series has never seem to be well received comparing to “rakugaki” series (blue and white doodle ones). Whether that was wrong colour or the quality was not sufficient, people were not interested at many of the shows.

I was actually very disheartened and almost given up continue making this series. But somehow I kept my idea alive.

When I returned to my studio work after three year break, I thought I’d have to make a change to be workable within my limited time. What I did was to simplify. The whole design. The whole process.


Today I am happy to introduce you my new “mazekoze”. All of images here are new version. Much cleaner and simpler form. No fussy surface pattern. Different sizes that you can layer and stack. Colours you can enjoy different combination. Matt texture of glaze that enhances the food. All of which makes easy for anyone to use. And most of all it’s fun to mix!


Now the latest “sakura” glaze (pink hue) is added, I am really happy with the result. Hope you are too! To celebrate the path of this series, I’ve recently made a short film. The link is here. Hope you enjoy watching it. 

“mazekoze” ware are available at my next show, Wardlow Mires Pottery & Food Festival at the Peak District in September. Please find more details here.