Channeling her characteristic energy and creativity, Michele Quan ofMQuan Studio designs and sculpts handmade ceramic art and objects for the home and garden. Her pieces have become a canvas for her love of drawing, painting, text and color. In her Brooklyn studio, she builds the ceramic forms by hand, which are then wheel thrown, or slip cast in stoneware and porcelain. She also just added a capsule collection of silver and 18K gold jewelry.
Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Michele moved to New York City in 1984 to study graphic design and photography at Parsons School of Design. We recently asked her a few question about her design inspirations, and the new products she’s introducing at the summer market. You’ll find her in Accent on Design® in the NY NOW HOME collection.
Q: Are you the sole MQuan designer? Where do your design inspirations come from?
A: Yes, I alone design my work, but have a few young artists who help me to produce it. Design inspirations come from so many different places. I tend to think they come from words and ideas. I either read about the symbology of an image, or I attach an image to the words and jump from there.
Q: You incorporate a variety of materials in your pieces. Which of these do you most enjoy working with the most?
A: I love all the materials I use, each for their unique qualities. Wood, cotton fabric, hemp rope; they all work well with stoneware and porcelain, bringing a softness, a type of support and buffer to the hardness and fragility of the fired clay.
Q: What products are your “best sellers?” Why do you think they have such appeal with your customers?
A: The bells have been the best sellers, although I see the painted objects catching up to them. The bells are a universal symbol that seems to inspire a similar feeling in people.
Q: What new products will you be introducing at the summer NY NOW in August? What was the inspiration behind these new products?
A: Last February I focused on The Eye, The Sun, The Moon and The Stars. Those have always been ongoing themes in my work, so now that I feel as if I connected them, I’m moving forward with that same theme, changing some, adding some… it’s all in process now.