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Why did you pick pottery? Why did pottery capture you the way it did?
It was something I’d always wanted to do. I was drawn to clay, I don’t know why. You know, I always think about this saying that God created man from clay. I think that for everybody when you touch clay you just love the feeling of it, and you forget everything when you’re working with clay. Maybe that’s the reason.

How long did it take for you to master the art of pottery?
You know in Japan they say it takes two lifetimes to become a good potter. I’m still learning even after over 20 years because in pottery there is so much to learn, it is not just one skill, there are so many skills involved.As a potter I always think you have to be a potter, of course, you have to be a chemist, you have to be a pit of a carpenter, you have to be a bit of a plumber, bit of an electrician, because you need all these skills when you’re working with your equipment.

It sounds like pottery is a passion that consumes your life, how do you feel about people that use pottery as sort of therapy, as kind of a hobby to do in their free time?
I think in whichever way pottery helps you, that’s fine. Pottery is my passion, and I love it, and the day I stop loving it is the day I stop doing it. I have always done things that I am passionate about. For example, I used to do martial arts. People think its very different to pottery but its not actually because they both require a lot of discipline, dedication and passion, and you don’t get results quickly with either of them. Both of those were kinds of hobbies that became a passion for me. And if it’s a hobby, that’s fine, and if you use it for therapeutic reasons, that’s fantastic. In the past we’ve had very high-powered businessmen or businesswomen and they come here and they find out that that’s the only time they can really forget everything.

Do you feel like your background in martial arts helps with your pottery and vice versa?
Yes, definitely. As I said, they both require dedication and discipline. With martial arts and pottery you can start with a class of 40 or 50 students and in two years time you would probably end up with four, because it takes so much dedication and it’s challenging. When people watch somebody like me who’s been on the wheel for 20 years, it looks very easy and they expect it to come to them quite easily and it doesn’t.

Do you ever get frustrated with pottery? I’m a writer and sometimes I get writer’s block and I can’t write and I get really frustrated, do you ever feel that way?
I do too. There are times when I don’t do any pottery for months; during those times my mind is actually creating. I may not be actually making something but I’m either creating by thinking, writing, or drawing.  So yes, there are times, and it really is kind of where you are emotionally, where you are affects what you do. If my mind isn’t right I can’t do pottery.

Do you usually plan out the pieces that you create?
Yes, yes. I usually draw and it’s a very important part of designing.

Do the pieces always turn out the way you expected them to? When I write I never expect what the outcome is going to be, it’s always kind of different and it’s always better, so there are a lot of surprises when I read the finished work. Do you ever experience that? Do you welcome the surprises?
Well, you know pottery is not a defined kind of art. Nothing is guaranteed in pottery, really, because there are so many elements involved when you’re firing a pot; the thickness of your pot, the thickness of the glaze, the wetness of your pot, the temperature of your kiln, and where in the kiln it is all affects the outcome. I welcome the surprises but at the same time I’m always striving to be better and I think a lot of potters are like that, never satisfied. I would probably never ever make a pot where I would be a hundred percent satisfied. I can be excited as a result of a great new glaze I’ve made or the way a pot has turned out the way I expected but I can always see fault in it.

Why did you choose to teach pottery?
I think I was born a teacher because I loved teaching martial arts and while I was still teaching martial arts I started teaching pottery. I think its very important to teach and I think its very wrong when people know something that they’ve learned from someone else and they keep it to themselves and not pass it on. I think in that way you will kill the art. I love pottery and I want it to flourish everywhere and by teaching it to other people that’s going to happen.

Q&A with Homa

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