The imaginative pottery of Rami Kim.

Rami Kim figure bent

Rami Kim is an artist and maker, with a love of working with her hands. She caught our eye with her irresistibly charming clay figurines, that are truly an art object all unto themselves. With a love of wresting with clay, Kim says she thinks of ceramics as much more than just an object to hold food. Her inventive take on traditional pottery forms leaves her work with a whimsical and poetic quality that is nearly impossible to resist. We talked to Kim about her journey into ceramics, her love of clay and her self-described Grandma style.

(Check out our full interview below…)

Rami Kim blueberry dish

YOU WORK IN A VARIETY OF ARTISTIC MEDIUMS, WHAT INITIALLY INSPIRED YOU TO GET INTO CERAMICS? HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN MAKING YOUR FIGURINES AND POTTERY? 

Having a background in animation, specifically stop motion animation, I’ve worked and played around a lot with clay and I started making these little figurines out of sculpey for fun, and ended up having an army of them. I started posting photos on my social media account, and I’ve been getting a lot of interest from people around me. I always wanted to try out porcelain clay to make my figurines and one day, late January 2014, I just started going to a local clay studio and I haven’t stopped making things since then.

YOUR PIECES MAKE SUCH CHARMING GIFTS, WHEN DID YOU BEGIN SELLING YOUR CERAMIC WORK? 

Thank you! I began selling a few of my creations on Etsy since last year, but I began selling my ceramic work pretty recently. I participated in the Echo Park Craft Fair last May and it was a great experience for me to meet talented artists and see how people reacted to my work. After EPCF, I set up an online shop linked from my website, and I began wholesaling to a few shops nationwide.

Rami Kim dishes

THE CONCEPT OF YOUR FIGURINES ARE SO CAPTIVATING, HOW DID YOU COME ABOUT THIS IDEA?  

Thank you so much! I am interested in portraying people even if it’s a figurine or a imaginative character. And I am interested in expressing the human form through ceramics because I believe that human figures are powerful and beautiful. I like putting the details on their faces. Most of them are very quiet and normal at first, but I love the odd coming out of the normality and quietness.

YOU HAVE A BACKGROUND IN ANIMATION AND PAINTING, HOW HAS THIS INFORMED YOUR CERAMIC WORK? 

I think having a background in animation has helped me to think differently. I approach to my work as an art object rather than just a dish to hold food. I like people finding interesting moments while using their dish, for example, I recently made this salt dish with a head floating in the middle with dark blue background. When you put salt in it, it looks like the face is buried under the snow.

Rami Kim Salt bowl

Rami Kim portrait

YOUR WORK HAS SUCH A CHARMING AND WHIMSICAL QUALITY, WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS LIKE WHEN COMING UP WITH NEW CONCEPTS? 

I visualize and think a lot about ideas. Taking notes and sketching out the idea really helps me because I have many ideas, but I forget them really fast too. I try to think out of box and try to really enjoy the process of making things. I just keep working with little breaks here and there with my girlfriends. I just wrestle with clays and playing with colors and concepts all the time, and try to have fun.

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION IN TIMES OF NEED? 

I find inspirations everywhere. Movies, poems, and seeing photos on Instagram of my friends and fellow artists that I like. Seeing their work process inspires me on a daily basis. However, honestly, I get most inspiration from working on my pieces. I just try to keep working and making things until I feel tired.

Rami Kim workspace

WHO HAS INFLUENCED YOUR AESTHETICS AND STYLE AS AN ARTIST? 

Learning from the masters are important as an artist, I think. I like Picasso, because he worked in different mediums and his style evolved a lot. Also, I found out about Joanne Greenbaum’s work recently and I love her use of colors in both her paintings and ceramic works. Once I read her interview about her philosophy in making artwork. She said, “I work when I am not inspired. Inspiration is not a real word for serious artists, they don’t get ‘inspired’. They just work.” I think I will remember this whenever I feel lazy or tired.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE IN THREE WORDS? 

Vintage. Grandma. Comfy.

Rami kim cup

ANY NEW PROJECTS YOU ARE WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT? 

I am working on a several projects at the moment. I am collaborating with a LA based candle artist named The Awesome Candle to come up with a new candle collection with reusable ceramic jar. I am dreaming of creating massive heads installations at some gallery in the future. I am also working on my stop motion animated short, which was funded from the Matt Groening Fellowships at UCLA and a children’s book about my dog, Gus.

NAME SOMETHING YOU LOVE, AND WHY. 

At this moment, clay. I love working in my hands with clay and I really feel like I am creating something when I work with clay. It makes me happy.

x Find out more about Rami and her beautiful ceramics here x

Rami Kim figurine head

 

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