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Spotlight Feature: Akiko’s Pottery

Meet Akiko Graham, one of the potters responsible for Kampai's beautiful collection of custom made ceramics.


Intentional, thoughtful, fresh: those are core values that drive everything we do at Kampai. To live and share Omotenashi, we are intentional with every element we bring into the space. We looked across the world, selecting the freshest fish and the right plates to serve our creations.

Understanding the significance of tableware in complementing and enhancing the culinary experience, Chef Chris Massad and general manager Dan “Jiggy”Janjigian selected three artisans who also prioritized details. One of the first artisans they selected was Akiko's Pottery in Seattle, WA.



Akiko Graham in her studio.


Akiko Graham is a highly acclaimed potter whose work has gained national and international recognition. Akiko is originally from Hokkaido, Japan and has been a potter in Seattle since 1990. What sets Akiko's pottery apart is its remarkable combination of beauty and functionality. All of her pottery is handmade (wheel thrown or slab built) of stoneware clay and fired in electric kilns at about 2110°F. While all pottery is delicate, Akiko ensures that her dishes are designed to be safe for food, dishwashers, and ovens. This commitment to practicality ensures that her creations can be enjoyed not only for their aesthetic appeal but also for everyday use.

From the Seattle Times,

“‘People think that you cannot make money selling just pottery,” she says. “And I think that is true, unless you work a lot. You have to work a lot. Or you have to make a $10,000 art piece’. . .She chose the former, often laboring late into the night, making everything from small sake cups to plate sets to presentation platters. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that she can render a bowl, for instance, in under three minutes — hunched over her motorized wheel, cradling the wet mound as it spins under her guidance into an elegant vessel. . . The whole process can take three weeks.”


Akiko's pottery also exhibits a delightful touch of Japanese influence, with some pieces adorned with inscribed Japanese characters.


The love and intention Akiko gives to each piece is the magic. Yes, it is just a plate. But, we like to think of it as one brush stroke on a canvas that contributes to a painting. Each brush stroke builds on the other, compliments or clashes with another stroke to evoke a look and a feeling. Each and every element of Kampai is a brush stroke designed to create a space that feels inviting and prepares the visitor for an exceptional dining experience.

You can learn more about Akiko’s incredible journey in this beautiful documentary that even features our chef, Chef Chris Massad!

The collaboration between Kampai in Jackson Hole and Akiko's Pottery has beautifully demonstrated how the marriage of culinary artistry and pottery craftsmanship can create an unforgettable dining experience. Through a shared dedication to perfection and commitment to creativity, Kampai and Akiko's Pottery have forged a partnership that exemplifies the harmony between food and design. You can experience Akiko’s plates and sake cups at Kampai in Jackson Hole!


You can learn more about Akiko Graham at www.akikospottery.com and follow her on Instagram at @akikospottery. Book your table at Kampai today at Kampaijh.com.


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