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Chiemi

CHIEMI・えみ

[ Head Grinder Artisan ]

 

“It all started when I met this crazy American lady…”

We lost our home in the tsunami so we found an apartment in this empty area. My youngest daughter's preschool bus would come by our place every morning to pick her up. There was a period of time when my daughter was alone at the bus stop and I thought it was kind of lonely for her. Well, one day, there was this blond woman out there. As it turns out, her daughter was going to the same preschool. That was how it all started. When I first met Sue, I saw her walking along the road, picking up broken pieces of pottery. I thought, “What’s she doing? What a strange lady…” She later told me that she had an idea for making jewelry out of them. She asked me if I wanted to join her so I did. 

At Nozomi, I work as a grinder artisan. At first, we just picked up pieces of pottery left over from the tsunami and grinded those down. But it’s becoming harder to find actual pottery pieces from the disaster so we use some donated ones as well as supplements from recycling shops. We cut these pieces of pottery with tile cutters and polish them smooth. My job is really fun; I get really into it. I like thinking about how I can turn a piece of pottery into something beautiful and how each piece has its own personality. We take what used to have one specific purpose and breathe into it new life, a new purpose. That’s what I like best about this job.

Throughout my time working at Nozomi, I’ve seen so much pain and people falling back into despair again and again. I was honestly unsure about how it would all turn out. But we were encouraged by each other’s company; I believe that's how we got to where we are today. I want to do my best in order to continue doing what we are doing. The Nozomi today wants to make even better jewelry than we’ve ever done in the past; I can really feel that as I work here.

My hobby is eating yummy food. I think my favorite food might be ramen. I enjoy visiting restaurants I’ve never been to or trying new snacks.