Maker We Love: Ceramicist Janaki Larsen
Our Q&A with a West Coast potter inspired by nature.
When she’s not busy sourcing one-of-a-kind items for her popular Vancouver stores, Le Marché St. George and Atelier St. George, Janaki Larsen loves to spend time at her potter’s wheel. Her limited-edition ceramics have an earthy elegance that we love, and range from beautifully textured vases to minimalist serving platters. Here, we talk with the ceramicist about her stunning craft.
House & Home: When did you first start making pottery?
Janaki Larsen: I started in my third year of study at Emily Carr University — 16 years ago! I was working on a site-specific installation piece, and wanted to make some big bowls. I signed up for an introductory ceramics class and was totally hooked!
H&H: Where do you get your inspiration?
JL: My biggest inspirations are light and shadow — and nature. I’ve always been crazy for textures, pebbles, bark and barnacles, as well as landscapes and sky.
H&H: Of all the pieces you’ve made, do you have a favorite?
JL: I have a large bowl that’s my all-time favorite (not shown). The glaze is peeling off like bark. It has the perfect profile and looks like it survived from another time. I tend to keep my favorite pieces for myself!
H&H: How do you hope people use your pieces in their own homes?
JL: I encourage people to use them — not just put them on their shelves. It’s such a pleasure to use handmade things on a daily basis. My family and I put ours in the oven and the dishwasher, and they develop some amazing character this way. Then again, I like most things to be on the well-loved side…
H&H: Would you encourage people to try making pottery themselves?
JL: Absolutely! It’s harder than people think, but also so satisfying. It’s one of those things that responds so immediately that it’s kind of addictive. I love that pottery lets you take mud and fire it into an object that can last for centuries.