ARTIST INTERVIEW: Juliana Hung of Jujumade
We spoke to designer and ceramicist Juliana Hung, whose playful line jujumade has been a longtime favorite of the Echo Park Craft Fair. Ceramics are typically stationary and utilitarian, but jujumade breaks away from this mold and transforms ceramics into wearable pieces that are both sculptural and playful. Enamored with porcelain, Juliana’s new collection explores the notion that porcelain is precious. All her pieces are hand sculpted with hints of gold or silver and subtle use of chains to provoke a delicate, romantic feel. Pieces can be worn in multiple ways, allowing the owner to experiment and find their own look.
Describe the path that led you to the work you do now. Did you take any big risks to get where you are?
I studied Industrial Design at Art Center College of Design. After working several years in the industry, I was really craving to create something of my own, less technical and much more organic. I have always loved working with my hands – making models in school and during work were always highlights for me!
I started the jujumade blog in 2011, documenting my ceramic and leather projects. I experimented with leather work and ceramics, often mixing the two elements together. After receiving great responses, I took the leap and created a small collection!
Do you have a daily working routine? Can you describe it?
Everyday is a little different, I find that being adaptable is super important as a small business owner!
I usually spend my mornings responded to emails and making sure orders are received and processed. I spend a lot of my time in my home studio making and assembling everything while listening to some music/TV/movie. I can work for hours nonstop with something running in the background. Otherwise, I am usually hunting down raw materials downtown or at the ceramic studio glazing like crazy.
What is a new idea you have been working with recently?
The pieces I design and make are always things I would use or wear. Aside from my new jewelry collection, I have a series of mini vases that I have been working on as part of my home objects series.
Did you have any artists or creative people in your family? If so, how did they influence you?
I attribute a lot of my inspiration and creativity to my mom. She studied fashion design in college and has always had great style with lots of statement pieces. When I go back home, I always dig through her old photos and closest to find inspiration and ideas. I find many of her vintage pieces so well made and the designs so timeless. As a bonus, she lets me take a few things each time I visit!
Why is it important to you to show and share your work to a larger community?
Having a community like Echo Park Craft Fair is amazing, there is so much support and encouragement amongst fellow designers, I think it is so special and am so grateful to be a part of it.
As a designer, we often spend lots of time in the studio, and EPCF is a opportunity for us to talk directly to customers and friends! A lot of jujumade pieces, such as the necklaces and bags are adjustable, and I find that showing customers and allowing them to try it on in person is so powerful.
What do you do, or where do you go to seek fresh ideas or renewed creative energy?
Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of “How I built this” on NPR. The brands featured are always successful because they had to work hard for something they really believed in. I always get a little energy boost and encouragement after each show.
I also love to eat and travel, taking trips short or long, near or far, just far enough from my route always refreshes my energy.