JAN 2021 - SOFI - Magliacano Ceramics
Find Sofia's shop here: https://www.instagram.com/magliacano_ceramics/
Welcome to the first edition of our Curated Creator Series, where we interview Sofia with Magliacano Ceramics and take a dive into her life and creative process behind her ceramics.
Hi Sofi! Thank you for taking the time to be our VERY FIRST creative in our Curated Creators Series for our January Edition! How are you doing?
Hi Nicole, thank you so much for inviting me to share with you and your audience, I absolutely love meeting other creators. I am doing good, working really hard to keep the vibes high, fears low and doing tons of inner work during this intense moment in history.
Can you describe yourself, hobbies- interests- etc? What does Sofi do in her free time or on any given day?
Laundry list. I am by nature curious AF so I've tried so many different art forms from music to fashion (graduated from FIDM) to water colors and graphic design and metalsmithing. In my free time you'll find me curled up with a book in my hands, or roller skating.
When and how did you start Magliacano Ceramics? How did you think of the name- why Magliacano?
I started Magliacano Ceramics July 2020 and let me tell you, starting a business is not for the faint of heart. Magliacano is my last name and I had never been comfortable with any artform to stamp it on there. Playing with clay/mud feels like home to me, and I knew it was time to really invest myself fully into creating with ceramics.
Has ceramics always been something you've been interested in? When did you first learn how to make ceramic work?
At my core yes, but I didn't know it. I was trying to find my artform for 15+ years tried everything under the sun and then I signed up for a class at Muddy's in Santa Ana in 2018, I remember putting my hands on the clay and I felt it "yes, this is it" I got super obsessed. Then I remembered when I was little back in Argentina I would sit outside in the yard and make little bottles out of mud. It just took me years to find my way back to mud.
Can you tell me how you developed your brand image, aesthetic, and vision? It's lovely!
Thank you so much <3 It's actually a work in progress that I'm navigating. My style is classy with an edge of punk rock, a mix of Audrey Hepburn meets Leigh Lezark meets Joan Jett. I keep more to my classy dreamy style in my ceramics, but I do want to venture more to my dark side in the future. It's actually kind of funny because my wardrobe consists of black, black and more black, but my ceramics are very colorful.
What is something you struggle with the most, in your small business or just life in general?
Such a good question, definitely time and energy management. 2020 was tough as is, but life threw my family and I extra curveballs, the universe must have thought we were bored ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. This year I really learned how important protecting your energy is. Your energy is everything and I learned that the hard way by burning out, getting frustrated, having extreme highs and extreme lows. I created a few non-negotiable routines to keep myself in check for 2021.
What inspires you? Or, who, and why? More specifically, what inspires you when you are designing or creating a new piece?
This is my most asked question and the most difficult to answer because literally everything inspires me. My dad always taught me to look at everything in at least 8 possible ways, it's a way of thinking out of the box. Most of my pieces at the moment are inspired by stars, because I'm a dreamer and I believe in expansiveness, in infinite energy, in looking into the beyond. I like to share that feeling to others through my pieces. I want my customers to sip out of my cups and feel their shoulders relax, their minds expand and embody confidence and self love.
Can you dive into the creative process behind your designs? For example, the golden star decorated peach teacup I purchased (found here).
Ceramics is extremely tactile and it's really strange, but I think many potters will agree. When you put your hands in clay and you get out of your head and into your body the clay speaks to you. As soon as I start touching it I ask it "so what do you want to be turned into today?" This Peach Teacup was thrown on the wheel, so it went from being a ball of clay to being centered and then molded into a little cup. After being left to dry a little bit it was turned over and trimmed for achieve a clean bottom this is called greenware, once it is bone dry it is fired. The bisqueware is then glazed with three coats of glaze applied by brush and then it goes back into the kiln for it's second firing. Finally gold luster is applied to the stars, gold luster is real gold suspended in oil once it goes into its third firing the oil evaporates leaving the gold behind on the piece. Ceramics is definitely not for the faint of heart, there is a lot of trial and error, a lot of learning curves, some explosions in the kiln sometimes. But it's honestly so incredibly rewarding when a piece turns out that it's all worth it.
I'm curious and this is random, but do you have any pets? If so, can you tell me about them, if not, would you ever want one?
I definitely want my own eventually but I am surrounded by dogs so I don't feel the need to get one at the moment. Fun fact: I used to volunteer at animal shelters.
Ok- back on topic here! What was the defining moment for you in your small business journey where you sat back and thought, "I've really got this down."
I don't think I've experienced that moment yet. I'm in a constant state of learning and trying things out. But I have learned a lot about myself. Starting your own business is definitely the best form of self-development.
Where do you see Magliacano Ceramics in 1 year, 5 years, 10? Is this something you want to keep to a smaller team or would you ever expand and hire people to help?
In one year I would like to really have my systems down, I am like a baby turtle right now and things take a long time. I would really love to have a consistent newsletter where I really connect with my friends/customers and really grow a community. In 5 years I would like to have a good size studio with a team maybe have classes running in part of the studio. In 10 years I would love to have a factory with a great staff that feels like family.
If you could describe your personality in 5 words, which words would you choose?
Optimistic, Growth Oriented, Analytical, Creative and Passionate.
What challenges did you face when first starting? What advice would you give to new ceramic artist that are trying to perfect their technique?
I think my biggest challenge was keeping all the plates spinning. When I started I was working full time, going to school for ceramics, trying to maintain a relationship and a social life. So it was definitely challenging but super worth it. My advice is don't take other people's advice haha, but seriously have your ears open to advice but in the end listen to your intuition/your gut and do what you want to do and feel is best for you. Also don't be afraid to experiment!
What are your favorite foods to eat?
Japanese, I love a good spicy miso ramen or sushi.
What is one of the biggest triumphs you've had to overcome since starting? Could you expand on it a bit?
Believing in myself. It sounds sooo simple, but my belief in myself got challenged so much in these beginning months. So many doubts creep into your mind and getting yourself back into a pumped up, excited, ready to take the world by storm vibe is some serious work. This year I really dove deep into journaling, listening to my body and what it needs, and going on walks.
What is your favorite and worst part about making ceramics?
My favorite part is definitely playing with the clay, molding and forming, and my least favorite is glazing.
What are some assumptions or myths about ceramic creations or the process?
Oooh I don't know, maybe that ceramics are purely functional I think most people associate it with mugs or dinnerware, but once you get into the art world you see that it's an amazing medium that lends itself to so many forms.
About how long does it take to make a piece? Have you ever done custom orders?
It depends on the piece, but a mug will usually take me about an hour to an hour and a half of hands on work and then there is the drying time and kiln time. I have done custom pieces, but when I have it's always been in a similar style to my work. I decline pieces that are very different from what I do or have been done before.
What are your plans for Magliacano Ceramics in the coming year? Any new products coming up?
Yes, I'm super excited to make more paint palettes, pipes, and would really love to make some ceramic boxes. Definitely want to start exploring the darker side of my personality while also keeping the light side that I've already shown in my work.
Well I thank you so much for your time! I appreciate you so much! Do you have any questions for me? I'm so excited to see your journey and see Magliacano Ceramics grow this coming year!
Thank youuuu Nicole! <3 I do have a question for you, will you be sharing with us your answers to these amazing questions? I can't wait to see what you have to share. Super excited for AndEverlasting, absolutely love your earrings and can't wait to see what you have in store for us in 2021.
Each month, AndEverlasting will feature and interview a creator to gain insight on brand development in hopes to inspire others and connect the creator community together. Here Sofia is seen wearing our earrings in the style BALANCE.