A Day With…Kaori Tatebayashi

I am so excited to share with you our very first ‘A Day With…’ feature, where we spend a day in the life of a creative and see what they get up to on a usual working day. This new feature has been one that I and I know some of you, have been most excited about as it gives us a chance to have a nose into what everyone else is up to!

Our first ‘A Day With…’ is with an old and extremely talented acquaintance of mine – ceramist Kaori Tatebayashi. Kaori produces beautiful ceramic tableware and extraordinary stoneware sculptures in the shapes of ordinary objects like men’s shirts, each drape and fold beautifully carved and hard as stone vegetables, each long asparagus, pea pod and pitted lemons intricately formed. She shares her day with us… – Rohini

Kaori Kaori 4


I was born in a small village called Arita in Japan, noted for its fine porcelain. My grandfather had a wholesale shop and traveled around with samples taking orders for ceramic products. When I was eight, my family moved to Kyoto – another place famous for its pottery. As a child my favorite playground was the pottery factory where I was allowed to sit mesmerized, watching the craftsmen throwing.

I also had a close relationship to nature in my childhood. I spent most summers in Arita where my cousins and I got close to plants, trees, insects and animals in my grandfather’s garden. We used to swim in the cold stream and catch beetles in the forest. Kyoto, my second home town, is a basin, and I felt secure in its shelter of mountains.

Now I live in London and have a workshop in south London with about 40 other makers. I first came to London as an exchange student to study at RCA in 1995, I met my future husband there ( he is Japanese ). We lived in Tokyo for about three years and came back to London in 2000. My husband is a member of Tomato, design collective.

I love the lifestyle in London, I enjoy mixture of how different people live. The city is so energetic and full of inspirations but also has lots of green!

8:00 am. First thing in the morning,  I water my plants. I am not an early bird, so my plants don’t get feeding till around this time, sorry guys!  They look so happy in the shower of water!


My breakfast is next. I love eating my breakfast looking out of my balcony. At the moment, I am in love with this Belgian waffle and banana combination.



11:00am. Delivering my work to Flow Gallery in Notting Hill. Yvonna is happy to see my work for the gallery’s 10th anniversary exhibition. It’s on till the 21 November.




12:00pm. Arriving at the studio, At the moment, my studio is full of tableware whereas some weeks ago, it was covered by my sculptures. I make two different type of ceramics. I am showing my sculptures at the Rochester Art Gallery, in an exhibition called ‘Fusion’.


1:00 It’s already lunch time. If it’s nice weather, we eat lunch together in the garden, talking about current projects, our next shows etc, etc… 401 1/2 Workshops is a studio complex, there are about 40 artists in different discipline. Maybe I should stop eating salad for lunch and start bringing soups instead.



2.00. Back to work, today I am making 11 teapots! Orders from various galleries for Christmas and for my next show Origin at Somerset house 13-18 Oct. This keeps me busy for most of the day.




Packing the kiln is not as exciting as unpacking the kiln. My next firing is bisque firing to 900C. After the biscuit firing, these pieces are going to be dipped into glazes and go back to the kiln again to be fired to 1250C. Then finally, they are ready to use!



7:00pm After preparing some clay for tomorrow,  I am going home. I pop into a supermarket on the way home. I feel like eating Japanese tonight, so decided to make simple roasted chicken drumsticks and vegetables with western style Miso soup. Tomato and bacon are not the regular ingredients for Miso soup, nor finishing it with a drop of butter! But it’s nice especially in winter.




Author: Rohini Wahi

Rohini is a London based freelance journalist and trend forecaster for the design industries. She has worked for Elle Decoration, Living Etc, Houzz and Design Sponge amongst others.

She loves a period drama and keeps a tidy home. Launched in 2007 The Beat That My Heart Skipped focuses on home inspirations, design trends, lifestyle and food – coupled with an insight into Rohini’s work and home life – from key picks at trade shows to styled weekend soirees. To contact Rohini for queries, work for hire or just to say hi drop her a line at mail@rohiniwahi.com

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