Breathe, keep breathing. Don't lose your nerve" -

Page 306: Ayu Larasati, Pottery, and Finding a Little Piece of Peace

/ Tuesday, December 22, 2015 /
Once, one of my good friends said that to keep your sanity in a crazy city like Jakarta is to appreciate little moments. And if you can’t find them, make them.

So I decided to do something calming before I started my new job: pottery class. A private one. With my friend, the talented potter Ayu Larasati. Oh you don’t know her? Well I do *insert smug face here :p

I met Ayu when Nike, one of the founders of LivingLoving invited me to come to this watercolor painting workshop she arranged with Ayang Cempaka as the tutor. I’m a fan of Ayang Cempaka, so I came just to see her and told her that I love her works. You know, cliche thing that a fan would say to her idol.

Nike then showed me where to sit while waiting for Ayang – so i sat in front of this cute-sweet-looking girl. Later i found out that she had been living in Canada for years before she got back to Indonesia and that she's a potter who used to be a product designer.

Long story short, we became friends. And a week before my first day at this new place, I stayed at her home and visited her new studio to hone my skill in pottery making. I took a pottery class one time, and I made a fugly unicorn mug that is still somewhere in that studio in South Jakarta. Gosh, it’s been a year and I still am abandoning that mug. *sigh

Anyway, it was really nice to spend times with Ayu. I had so much fun. I learned to make bowls and cups. I learned a little bit about firing and glazing. I laughed when I heard her talking to her supplier and ordered 50 kg of clay as if it’s nothing. I heard her little boy criticizing my work because his mom can do better. I learned the art of letting yourself immerse in silence, to be patient, and to find peace when making things with your bare hands but they end up not as perfect as you thought they would be. 

Her works remind me of the japanese philosophy, shibui/ shibumi – where you learn to appreciate pretty thing more than its appearance, but also the inner beauty, the strength, the feeling when you touch it.

So, thank you, my dear Ayu. For everything. I’ll be back for glazing them. And catching up, of course. :)


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