You know when you go to IKEA and you get a $2 melamine bowl that was made who-knows-where? That is exactly the total opposite of what we’re going to talk about here.
Studio Joo creates stunning housewares including bowls, vases or custom lamps. Each piece is designed and crafted by Elaine Tian, a graphic designer whose background includes Sculpture and Drawing studies in Art School and a masters in Design. Studio Joo is where her two passions meet: I see my current work, mainly vessels and light fixtures, as a way of combining my sculpture (objects/materials) and design (function) backgrounds.
Elaine’s unique pieces are the product of up to three weeks of careful work. She gives us a rundown of the typical process of her ceramic pieces: Throwing on the wheel, hand-altering, trimming. Then, the piece goes into the bisque kiln. Once it is bisqued, it gets glazed, then fired in the kiln again. My pieces are high-fired, or, in pottery terms, fired to Cone 10. And I’d say the result is up on Cloud 9. With prices ranging $50-$100 for most items, these little functional works of art are pretty accessible.
Studio Joo also produces paper pieces, using several techniques: paper mache, paper clay (clay + cellulose fiber), or custom blend of pulp, clay and plaster. She has recently created a series of flowerpot hangers using copper macramé and handmade paper beads.
Remember I said custom lamps earlier? Yeah. I did.
Elaine grew up in Sydney, Australia, and she’s been in New York for the last 11 years. She makes her home in Ditmas Park, where she has a tight network of artist friends. She can’t say enough good things about her neighborhood: the creative hub of south Brooklyn! Some of my favorite neighborhood spots are: Sycamore Bar and Flower Shop… a bar with a flower shop out the front! Also The Farm on Adderley for food, and Castello Plan for a glass or two of good wine.
Studio Joo’s one-of-a-kind creations are available at the Brooklyn Makers Shop.