"I feel complete when I make pottery," says Ayumi Watabe Ditamore. Since she made her first tiny piece, ceramics became her life-long passion. Her transition into a potter’s life began when she moved to Maui and found a relaxed island atmosphere to be the perfect remedy to the hectic lifestyle in Tokyo, thus allowing her the chance to quietly open her heart to her new life. Ayumi's throwing technique advanced quickly and she dedicated herself to learning all she could about the world of ceramics. As Ayumi works, clay absorbs her spirit and they combine in a collaborative harmony. Her goal is to create forms that have both artistic and often functional value. She hopes to impart a feeling of innocence and simplicity into her work while maintaining a high quality of craftsmanship.
Each piece receives her individual attention, rather than being part of a 'line of production'. Most of Ayumi's inspiration comes from her native country. She uses Japanese traditional technique to decorate her pots and uses local Hawaiian materials, such as local wood ash glazes and red dirt, firing her stoneware pieces to around 2300F in a gas kiln in reduction atmosphere. Her pieces are mostly food-safe and microwaveable. "Opening the kiln is one of the most exciting moments for creation," says Ayumi.
Ojizo-sama is a statue often found by the roadside or in temple gounds in Japan. Technically they are not Buddhas; they are Buddhist statues representing guardian spirits for children. They are also related to Doso-jin, god of roads, and provide protection for travelers.