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This week on the blog we had the pleasure of stopping by the hillside studio of Julie Hung, owner of Jujumade. Previously an industrial designer, Julie created Jujumade out of an effort to keep track of all the ceramic experiments she would create after working with machines all day. We talked to Julie about ceramics, and exploring materials, as the clouds rolled by outside her beautiful studio windows. Meet Julie!
What comes first, function or beauty?
JH: They are both important! The beauty and design of a product is what draws me towards it. But how well a product functions is what really sets one design apart from another.
What do you tend to listen to while you work?
JH: I love 90's music, hip hop, r&b, alternative and boy bands! SADE. Sometimes I have Zoolander or Clueless playing in the background, I'm pretty sure I know all the lines.
What has been the most challenging/rewarding part of your creative process so far?
JH: When to call a collection finished. For me, the collection is finished at the last minute before we shoot the lookbook. It is hard to filter through all the pieces to make sure I've chosen the right ones. It feels vulnerable at times but encouraging when you get positive responses!
What artist has changed your life?
JH: When I was young, I saw a Shiela Hicks collection at a museum and I was hooked. I loved the use of color, texture, and shapes - everything felt so free and organic. If I could capture that same feeling in my work, I'm happy!
Where's your favorite lunch spot in LA?
JH: I really like Cafe Gratitude breakfast (before 11am) the Open Hearted/ buckwheat flax pancakes and you MUST add the cashew butter. Cold noodle at Hangari Bajirak Kalgooksoo, and Fantuan (rice ball) at Huge Tree Pastry.
In your opinion, what makes clay and leather work so well together?
JH: Ceramics is rigid and stationary. Leather is soft and malleable. I love the idea of mix the two together to transform them into something beautiful, playful, and unexpected. Many of the jujumade pieces can be worn in multiple ways, encouraging the owners to experiment and find their own look.
What's on the horizon for Jujumade?
JH: New materials and elements! If I can introduce something new, it keeps jujumade interesting!
Which piece(s) are you most proud to have made?
JH: The Donut bangle - it was created by accident while I was experimenting on the wheel. I sliced off the top of a cylinder I threw, and somehow it looked like a donut. Maybe I was hungry, but that was how the idea was formed. Lately I've been attached to wearing the pearl bracelets, one on each wrist at all times. I also love wearing the arch necklace!
Any advice you'd give your younger self?
JH: Don't overthink.
Thank you Julie!
Photos by Marielle Chua
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