Last month I got an email from one of my Canadian creative icons, Janine Vangool of Uppercase Magazine, asking if I would like to interview a ceramic artist living in my very own town for Issue #21 coming out in April. After doing my thisisreallyhappening happy dance I speedily said YES with likely a little too much eagerness! Once the scary chaos of January ebbed I put on my winter boots, grabbed the camera, told my nervousness to shush and headed the four blocks through lovely snowy Lunenburg, Nova Scotia to meet Mariko of Forage Studios. I expected we would talk about her work and hopefully connect but imagine my joy when I realized Janine had paired us perfectly, we were totally kindred spirits! What are the chances of finding another creative, multicultural, from Vancouver, collaborative, tattooed lady in our little town? I don’t know but thankfully they were in our favour! During our interview I learned about her detailed process and journey as a maker and our conversation roamed exuberantly through her work, life, community, love and back again. By the end of it we were talking about more visits, collaborations & hosting some creative gatherings in our town! Before I left Mariko asked if I was up for swapping taking some photos of her work for an upcoming show which got me to thinking about our Skill Swap theme this month…
It was pouring on the walk home but my fuzzy new friend feeling kept me cozy and I had this fun, wacky idea sparked by Janine’s amazing matchmaking skills + Mariko’s Red Bird match maker mug + Valentine’s Day + how awesome it is to meet new makers for visits and hugs. I thought: why don’t I start a series of posts & match up makers who live close to each other for an interview or studio tour? So last week on a perfectly blue day I took a pile of photos of Mariko’s studio and asked if I could share some of them with you for our very first instalment of our Match + Maker series. I’m not going to spoil my Uppercase interview by sharing our conversation. Instead come with me for a tour of the bright studio of my lovely new neighbour and invite you to fall in love with her creative talent & beautifully illustrated and detailed ceramics too!
Inside Mariko’s sunny studio
Mugs from Mariko’s ‘Strong Men’ series!
Even the bottoms of Mariko’s bowls are gorgeous!
Mariko & Angus one of her three mini-daschunds
While we wait for our Uppercase interview to be published in April (go get a subscription if you don’t have one already!), come meet Mariko, say hello & get yourself some of her ceramic handmade goodness!
Want to be part of Match + Maker and sign up to be paired with your creative match for visits and interviews? Let’s collaborate! If you are a community member pop into the forums today to be the first to sign up or visit us on Friday when I share a sign up page + more info here for Love Day.
Today let’s show Mariko & her mad maker skills some love in the comments! We’d also love to know what do you think about Match + Maker?