Ayu Larasati windowsill by Nathaniel ChristianAyu Larasati taken by Nathanael Christian

In our first Foodie Profile of 2016, we talk to Ayu Larasati – one of Jakarta’s most celebrated young ceramicists.

JC x



1.  What kind of ceramic pieces do you specialise in and what have been some of your favourites?

I make small batch wheel-thrown ceramics and I also do hand-built pieces using slabs of clay, as well as pinched pieces from time to time. I love making mugs and cups. With these objects, I can really play around with the three dimensional qualities of them – like the handle for example, I can really experiment with the form and the colour and how it relates proportionally with the body of the cup.


Ayu Larasati cups by Francisca AngelaAyu at work in her studio


Ayu Larasati black cup by Francisca AngelaVase and cup by Ayu


2.  Jakarta has an incredibly vibrant creative community – whose work do you admire?

Having to pursue something that you love doing in Jakarta is a big challenge and I admire the drive and the relentless pursuit of good craftsmanship and delivering great quality products. I love the work by Felicia Budi; she is a fashion designer and through her work she really brings out not only great craftsmanship but all kinds of emotions. There’s also a growing number of creatives/entrepreneurs who are passionately sharing their craft in the Food and Beverage industry: Talita Setiyadi from BEAU and Aston Utan from Common Grounds are some of them.

Ayu Larasati by Francisca Angela


3.  Your pieces feature at many Indonesian cafes and you’ve done fabulous creative collaborations. Could you tell us about your favourite commissions and projects?

My favourite collaboration was with Ruko Cafe in Canggu Bali, simply because it was my very first project for a coffee shop. Creating pieces for coffee shops is definitely a different challenge than making pieces for personal use – the materials need to be really robust to withstand everyday use by baristas. Before Ruko Cafe, other than creating my own pieces, I am doing more commissioned projects for food bloggers who require unique, one-of-a- kind pieces for their photo-shoots. This is fun as well – I can see that there is a shift in the aesthetic of the ceramic pieces they require; the shift is to a more approachable, asymmetrical look that shows wear and imperfections rather than shiny polished ceramic objects.


Ayu Larasati shaping by Francisca Angela


4.  Where do you get your inspiration from?

I am inspired by other creative people: other makers, artist, designers and writers, musicians/songwriters, entrepreneurs, tech-preneurs, even young farmers who are trying to make a difference in our country. I know that earning a living as a creative is really hard work and sometimes you need to work triple times harder than the ones who follow the traditional career path. When I meet these people I feel so inspired. We share our hardships, satisfactions and findings in our respective fields. Although we are different in some ways but what we do is coming from the heart, we respect/admire each other for that.


5. Do you have any tips on ceramic styling (around the home or on tables) and photography?

Not tips on styling per se but more on what kind of things I keep around the house. I tend to keep and treasure ceramic pieces from my travels, the pieces that have a compelling story behind them or were bought or swapped with fellow ceramic makers. As a result, my ceramics can be really varied in terms of their aesthetic and I have a lot of mismatched pieces. They don’t necessarily come in a set; when we host dinners with friends, our dining table is full of all kinds of random looking ceramics and they are all quite different from one another and I think there’s something compelling about that – they all come from different places but together they create something meaningful that is unique to me.

Ayu Larasati white cup by Francisca AngelaMore of Ayu’s work


6. In terms of quality, what should people look for when buying ceramics?

I think functional ceramics need to meet a standard quality from a technical perspective. For example, what degree were the materials and glazes fired at, were they fired properly according to their properties? But in terms of shapes, form and colour and texture, it is really an open-ended answer; the most perfectly symmetrical pieces can be quite boring for some. The Japanese have been practising the art of Wabi Sabi in ceramics which is really interesting. It is a concept that embraces imperfections and processes that allows time to give character to the piece – which I think makes a very expressive statement.

Ayu Larasati stacked blue and black by Francisca AngelaStunning colours and patterns in some of Ayu’s mugs


7. In your down time, where are your favourite spots to eat or have coffee in Jakarta?

My favourite is place to have a coffee is probably 1/15 coffee in Gandaria. I love spending time there because not only do they have one of the best coffees in the city, but also their location is pretty strategic and close to everyone that I need to see on a regular basis. In Jakarta, being accessible for my family and friends is important because sometimes Jakarta’s traffic makes people unable to see each other as often as they would like to.

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8. What is next for you Ayu?

I have recently been working on contemporary pieces for my first art exhibition. I was given the opportunity to participate in a programme at dia.lo.gue artspace  that nurtures individuals who are transitioning from working in more problem-solving design, into creating and being able to express their concerns in a more conceptual art practice. With this work, I was very fortunate to have some of Jakarta’s brightest artsists like Pak FX Harsono and Pak Hermawan Tanzil, as my mentors. The exhibition itself opened November 13 2015. The curatorial brief was ” The Food Files” and the project started out of my curiosity of tracing the origin of the food I consume to somehow validate my decision to eat one food over the other as part of eating consciously. The topic was really interesting and working with something like this has a real challenge because I always wrapped my thinking process around problem-solving – which definitely has its own satisfaction. Other than that I am looking to organise my studio better for both work flow and improving the interior of the studio itself.


Featured and cover image: Nathanael Christian

All other images: Fransisca Angela.



Website: www.ayularasati.com

Twitter: @ayularasati

Instagram: @alarasati

Consciousness: In December 2015, Ayu along with with Burgreens, Songolas and kitabisa.com participated in a fundraiser for recent heavy smoke that covered most area of Sumatra due to forest fires. The smoke was alarming because it’s not only polluting the quality of air and it affecting the visibility. The extended drought season in Indonesia has caused this to happen and Ayu hopes that through fundraising, some of the problems will be alleviated.



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