Akiko Hirai initially studied cognitive psychology in Japan before turning to ceramics.
During her first visit to the UK she was attracted by the multicultural society and complexity of London, which made her aware of her own cultural influences. It was during her second visit to the capital that she came into contact with English potters and learned how to work with clay.
She went on to study ceramics at the University of Westminster, before completing her degree at Central Saint Martins. Following graduation, she founded her studio at The Chocolate Factory N16 in Stoke Newington. Akiko makes practical ware using the Japanese tradition of allowing the clay itself to “show” how it wants to be fired. Her work also allows viewers to discover the language of the objects in their own individual ways.
Akiko’s work is now internationally acclaimed, with commissions worldwide.