This studio is run by the sun

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Yume Studio is where Takashi and Theresa Ichihara create their one-of-a-kind ceramic teapots, bowls and platters.

The studio occupies a large portion of the couple's Granby home that sits at the corner of a large grassy field where late afternoon sunlight peeks through leafless trees and the first cold winter winds blow over a small garden plot in the backyard.

Overhead, the old farmhouse is covered by solar panels that will help energize two giant electric kilns that will bake the ceramic artworks at over 2000 degrees before being sold at art fairs and in galleries all over Massachusetts.

Each pot is hand formed out of rich grey recycled clay that seems to come alive on the potter’s wheel under Takashi’s practiced hands. Takashi works in silence while sitting cross-legged on a square pillow in a dimly lit basement. His wife, Theresa, stands by to explain in detail the things Takashi does with clay.

What starts out as a lump of clay takes shape quickly as Takashi builds up the sides, smoothing and shaping the clay, until a bowl emerges from the formerly shapeless mass.

The couple has been making ceramic teapots, bowls and platters for decades. Takashi and Theresa met at a wood fired kiln in 1983. The desire to work together was immediate and they have been working and living together ever since.

When they are not in the studio, they are canning food or making wine out of berries that they grow and harvest themselves. The Ichihara’s heat their home with wood and grow much of their own food.

When electricity prices went up last year, the couple had to increase the prices on their wares. Each one of the two kilns run at 13 kilowatts and must be run overnight—a significant amount of energy! The solar panels that the artists had installed will likely offset that cost significantly.

For the Ichihara’s, going solar was about saving money for their business, but it was also about running their business in a way that aligned with the way they run their home.

Have a look at the Yume Studio, the ceramic studio that is run by the sun! 

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