SukkhaCitta (SC): Hi Ayu! Do share a bit about yourself, what made you take the conscious decision to become a potter?
Ayu Larasati (AL): It certainly has evolved from what it was at first and now. Going into pottery full time as a means to earn a living equals to lots of long difficult hours, commitment and self-discipline. So much different than what it was years ago when this was a hobby I do on the side of my spare times. Learning to like the stretch-out odd hours during firings, trying to as humanely possible meet deadline when things are always unpredictable when making ceramics, and learn to like all other surprises came along the way. I certainly has grown out of my twenties mindset of “I won’t leave anything to chance” and balance it with “let it all just hang out”. Pottery has taught me a lot more lesson more than I know.
I started pottery when I was still working as a product designer in Toronto, Canada. During this time I felt the disconnections with designs that I made and its execution. Often the designing and the making are separated into different departments, places or continents all together. Whereas I think it can be more integrated. As I delve deeper into pottery, the meaning of it has also shifted. I hope through my work I can present a work that feel human, made by human that can be part of our everyday living.
SC: You recently took on a meditation practice. Could you share why?
AL: I started meditating in 2015 but just very recently I have been committed to practice in regular sittings. I’m firm believer of the mind/body, abstract/tangible, thinking/doing duality. I think in order to fully understand and be aware of our reality, we need to exercise both of these elements. They are two sides of the same coin. It started to dawn on me when first I become really involved with design. When idea started to manifest (which is a mental thing), we need to materialize it into physical world and make prototypes in that very second for testing, for acting upon in both thinking and doing is equally important in designing or any problem-solving.
On a more spiritual note, every creations, us for example as individuals, comprises of both mental and physical, mind and body. But we sometimes failed to see that we need to take care the health of our mental as much as we take care of our body. Without a doubt our society has put so much emphasis on outward appearance. Eating right and going to the gym are only half of what it is required to live mindfully and healthily. When I do sit regularly and meditate, I found my mind work with more focus in doing day-to-day tasks rather than being derailed into nowhere land. Mind is a really powerful thing and if we can get it to work with us rather than against us, I believe it’s going to be really beneficial.
SC: What do you think that we, as a society, needs to be happy?
AL: Haha, I really don’t know what the society needs to be happy in general. I can only speak for myself :) I know I’m happy if I’m allowed to keep on learning and growing one way or another. With pottery, I have so much opportunity to do this - pottery in itself is a very challenging subject to fully master. It’s a combination of art, chemistry and physics - it’s a thrilling subject to explore. But reflecting back as part of the society, I think if we contribute something of value or something that we love doing and be connected to the community which shares the same visions, and we felt supported that’s kinda happiness to me. In other words, we are allowed to do what we love, nothing is greater than that - that’s happiness in a nut shell for me.
SC: Why did you choose #MadeRight?
AL: We have been really exposed to poorly made products every single day that’s harmful to be consumed but It is everywhere and so convenient for us to take without a second thought. Fashion especially, it is one of most polluted industry. It is what happened with businesses when their left their conscience unchecked. #MadeRight pose a different way of approaching the system and I believe it is so important that we are making this difference. Pieces and products that was produced in a sound environment will emits and radiate good energy to the user also, I believe in that :)
I’m hosting the auctions for Rumah SukhaCitta because I also believe in the same cause, in the same values and I have seen the positive impact and changes that SukkhaCitta has bring to the villages in improving the quality of life of the group of women.
Ayu Larasati is a potter, teacher and a mother. Through her hand-thrown ceramics, she creates everyday objects that combines beauty and process. Instilling stories to ignite conversations, she hopes to inspire a deeper meaning beyond our buying decisions. She currently resides in Jakarta, Indonesia, with her two children and a pet goldfish.
Ayu wears PAGI Back Button Top and TITIK Traveller's Pants size 1.