A couple months ago while looking for ideas to surprise a friend on their birthday, I came across HiDe ceramic studio’s website and was immediately intrigued by the beautiful ceramic artworks showcased on the site. The ease of booking a 90 min drop-in class made it a brisk decision and a week later I was in a small, intimate ceramic studio tucked in a quiet corner of the Mount Pleasant District in Vancouver. It was my first time in a pottery class and I was amazed at how much I enjoyed the therapeutic process of getting my hands dirty and sculpting a piece of clay into a functional piece.
Although I did not meet HiDe that day, it was then that my interest peaked in getting to know HiDe Ebina, the owner, Chief Artist and creative force behind HiDe art. HiDe was kind enough to connect with us and set aside time for a brief interview and photoshoot before his early morning class.
HiDe Ebina was raised in Japan and moved to Canada after a visit over 20 years ago. He has been a ceramic artist for over 30 years, and has undergone training with various ceramic artists in Japan. Over his last 20 years in Vancouver, HiDe has garnered an impressive list of accomplishments, including being in charge of ceramic tableware for Team Canada for the International Culinary Olympics, and was contracted to make gifts for the Princess of Thailand. He has also hosted numerous solo exhibitions and has been a popular mainstay at an array of global ceramic exhibitions.
If you reside in Vancouver, you can easily spot HiDe’s handmade ceramic tableware at popular Japanese restaurants Miku, Tojo, Raisu, Jinya and more. His raw, imperfectly perfect style is a signature that is transcended through his beliefs and philosophy in life - a worldview based on transient, where nothing lasts forever, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.
On the day of the interview, HiDe welcomed us warmly and showed us around the studio. He proudly went through some of his creations and swiftly settled onto a ceramic wheel where a large hunk of clay was readily sitting. “I will show you how to make a ramen bowl,” he said, as he start moulding the clay with his hands. Within minutes, the clay transformed into an elongated pole, a vessel and then a bowl.
We watched in awe at the sheer speed the clay evolving from one shape to another. By the end of our chat, we had already went through a vase, a ramen bowl, a round vase and finally settled with a large vase with a wide opening. “I think I like this one” he said proudly, “I think I will keep it” as he start cutting the newly formed vase off the wheel with a string.
“The clay creation will then go on through a lengthy two month journey of air drying, shaving, first firing, glazing, and finally a second firing until it becomes a ceramic piece” HiDe explained. It was then that I realized the immense amount of work each and every creation goes through in order to become what they are intended, a meticulous craft that requires patience.
We thank HiDe for taking his time to show us some a small part of his everyday life. If you are ever looking for an experience where you can get your hands dirty, make sure to try out HiDe’s drop-in ceramic classes.
Hide Ceramic Works
2368 Alberta Street, Vancouver
Pictures by: SL Photography