Spooner Spotlight: Tamiko Claire

Posted on October 12, 2023

Spooner Spotlight: Tamiko Claire
Nestled in Pālolo Valley above Honolulu, Tamiko Claire’s ceramic studio is surrounded by the natural beauty that inspires her work. The calming sounds of singing birds and fresh mountain air welcome you into the home studio of the talented multi-hyphenate. We recently caught up with her to learn more about her work and her favorite places in Honolulu.

Let’s talk about your ceramics. How did you get into it, and what keeps you doing it?
I started with a high school elective class and never stopped. I’ve been doing it for over 15 years as a hobby and professionally for four years. I love the flow state you get into when touching clay. The thrill of opening a kiln after a glaze fire. The simplicity of working with your hands, clay, water, and heat. The ability to create forms that are everything - craft, art, and functional. I love how grounding but freeing it is.

Where do you find inspiration?
Mostly in the natural world here at home as far as shapes and colors - like stones, leaves, flowers, bark, coral. A lot of my pieces are made to be used for everyday rituals such as tea time and meal time, and I find inspiration in the kitchen and imagining pieces adding to calming living spaces. My travels to places with a rich cultural history of pottery have influenced me a lot.

Where can people buy your ceramics?
I’ll be at Sunshine People Market on Nov 25th at The Barn at SALT Kaka'ako. You can also find my work in various stores around O’ahu, including Milo, Pua Hana, Daily Whisk Matcha, and Fishcake.
You can also shop my ceramics online at www.tamikoclaire.com
Follow Tamiko on Instagram @tamikoclairestoneware

As a Honolulu local, what are some of your favorite places to go and things to do?
Favorite cafés:
The Curb, which is my neighborhood spot, and Summer Frappe in Chinatown for bahn mi sandwiches, cane juice, and smoothies.
Best Poke: Ono Seafood on Kapahulu, Tamashiro Market, and Off the Hook in Manoa
Favorite Surf Break: So many! Probably Threes if I had to choose.
Favorite thing about Honolulu: We’re so blessed with surf! We are so lucky to surf somewhere all year.
Favorite place on O’ahu: Too hard to pick! Love the East side, the countryside of the island, and the back of the valleys.

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