We visited the Yamaneco stall at Backyard Market a couple of weeks ago and loved what we saw, but unfortunately the artist herself was not around that day to speak to us. So I was honoured to be invited this morning to the Hackney studio where Keiko Sato works, to conduct my interview.
Keiko started out studying bronze casting at art college in Japan but this quickly progressed to ceramics as, Keiko explains, the two disciplines are quite similar. She has been a ceramicist for 9 years, and has been doing it professionally for the last 5.
She moved to London from Nigata, Japan 18 months ago but has only had her stall at Backyard Market for a few weeks:
"It was very slow to begin with but now things are picking up and it is the best way to get feedback. You don't get to hear what people think of your work when it is sold in shops".
The name Yamaneco means means "wild cat" and comes from a Japanese legend which all sounds very mysterious and exciting to me! Prices start at just £1 for a gorgeous clay button (I now have one taking pride of place on my blazer). Her stunning cheese plate (pictured) is her most expensive product at £48 but it's so exquisite it's worth every penny and I don't think it will hang around for long.
As well as bowls, mugs and oil burners, you can also pick up a spoon (£3 for a plain one or £3.50 for an illustrated one) as seen around Keiko's neck in the picture above.
Name: Keiko Sato, 28
From: Hackney, London
Yamaneco Pottery is at Backyard Market on Sunday and Greenwich Market, also on a Sunday. Her website is under construction, but watch this space for more details. She also has five stores in Japan stocking her wares. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.