ceramicist and designer reiko kaneko

This month on the Fave Finds page for Real Living I featured the work of Reiko Kaneko. She is a UK artist who specialises in ceramics (and ships internationally), although she is a successful product designer too. Her Floaty table was shortlisted for Elle Decoration UK design of the year 2009. Her recently released Arctic Collection is based on designs from Japan, where alcohol is traditionally served in ceramic vessels.

Which five words best describe you?
Calmly busy, quietly spoken (except when tipsy) and warm.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I started with handmade Egg soldier cups for a store who was interested in them at the graduation show and to my surprise, they sold well and that's when I thought there is something in this. We're now set up so that the designs are made in Stoke on Trent, the heart of British ceramics. We've been working together with small family run businesses up there who still make quality china. These are then sent out to design stores, galleries, department stores and individual homes.

What's the best lesson you've learnt along the way? The more I learn, I realise there is so much more to learn. Which keeps things very exciting and my brain churning.

What's your proudest career achievement? I was really chuffed that Elle Deco nominated my Floaty Ovangkol table for the UK design of the year but there's been so many little milestones that has made me dance around the room.

What's been your best decision? To have just done it, and keep doing it, and I have tried to be as honest and as responsible with my output as possible.

Who inspires you? All those passionate people who create and put themselves out there. Heston Blumenthal puts himself out on the plate, come praise or criticism. David Attenborough inspires awe in people, or Marina Abramovic for breathing art. The Beatles were on a mission to make an incredible amount of music. But then also some of my friends who don't stick to conventions - shunning money and success and living a very honest life.

What are you passionate about? I love beautiful things, particularly delicate things. Artworks, sketchbooks, or food and cooking. I also like the meditative side as I've been practising Kyudo (The way of the bow - Japanese archery) for about 6 years.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I've heard so much about the child prodigy Mozart, I'd be interested to see what he was actually like.

What dream do you still want to fulfill? To one day make the finest bone china in England.

What are you reading? Illusions by Richard Bach - it's a tongue-in-cheek story of a reluctant messiah who has a phobia of crowds. It's become dog-eared as I got it in a secondhand bookshop and I keep going back to it. A wonderful book.

images courtesy of reiko kaneko

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