29 Jun 2018
Design comes from all directions, and we are inspired by what's handcrafted. Here's the second blog of our series 'Meet the Designers', during which we interview Shawn Kam, the Californian ceramicist and owner of Luvhaus. Shawn carries out this mantle of artistry and industry in a space with unique history, and by pairing the harmony of consistent forms with subtle differences.
Shawn Kam, the Californian ceramicist and owner of Luvhaus, embodies the spirit of authenticity, crafting beauty with innovation and longevity. With a focus on elevating functional design, Luvhaus Ceramics are the product of countless hours spent at the wheel experimenting, refining, defining and pulling the shapes from the clay. Shawn takes his inspiration from the form of nature, pairing the harmony of consistent forms with subtle differences.
Their studio is located in West Oakland, California, once home to the canneries that drove the Bay Area industry. In the 1970s, a family of artists bought the property and began working and creating there. In the late 80s, a new wave of artists took up residency and carried on their tradition. Today, Shawn carries this mantle of artistry and industry, working in a space with a unique and vibrant history.
What attracts you to handcrafted materials and an organic aesthetic?
Mass manufactured has its appeal in symmetry and consistency and that creates a wonderful harmony. But for me there’s nothing more interesting than variation, subtle differences that capture your attention, and pairing the harmony of consistent forms with those subtle differences is what drives my creative enquiry. Why be static? What a joy to notice something new, sitting with a cup of coffee or tea, in those personal moments preparing for your day, or relaxing afterwards.
How does nature inspire you?
Nature is a constant source of vital rejuvenation and inspiration. Much of my new collections are named after and inspired by geological elements. Spending time in the Redwoods and the beaches here in the Bay Area is so vital to my creativity and overall sense of personal wellbeing.
Where do you like to go to stimulate yourself creatively?
As mentioned above, spending my time in the Redwoods and the beaches here in the Bay Area, San Francisco is so vital to my creativity and overall sense of personal well being.
What does authenticity mean to you?
Authenticity for me is so much about owning your process, taking the time to learn the fundamental elements of whatever processes you employ, leading to better design. Whether you do every element yourself or not, having a solid foundation of knowledge is so important.
How would you describe the environment of your favourite workspace?
One key element to all of the best spaces I’ve had and a real highlight of my new studio is light. I find so much inspiration in watching light move through the space, seeing a piece dramatically lit or the shadows it casts is so inspiring. As well as the shear joy that a naturally light filled space is to work in.
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