Q & A with Sean Gin

1. You’re a Bay Area native and studied art at UC Berkeley.  How did you find your way to Los Angeles, and was it here that you began your career in ceramics? 

I, like many, did the Norcal to Socal switch about ten years ago because I had just gone through a bad breakup and needed a change of scenery. But even when I was young I told my best friend I would live in Los Angeles one day. Then, after years of being in sales, I decided to take a chance on myself and put my Fine Art degree to use!

2. You build each of your pieces using a coiling method.  Can you talk about that process? 

There's many different ways to handbuild with clay but for myself I gravitated towards the coiling method. The coiling method is a technique where you don't have to slip and score the clay when you're building your piece. Each row you see on my pieces are individual coils of clay. To attach them to one another I use my thumb to create an indent that combines the top coil with the one below it. Some people scrape down the imprint to create a smooth surface but for me I love the texture so I have to be very intentional when building.

3. I love how your ceramics combine texture and color on classical forms.  Is there anything you reference or are inspired by when you’re dreaming up your creations? 

Thank you so much! Since I have a classical art background I've been loosely inspired by classical Greek vessels for my forms. In terms of color and texture I think they're a push back against the monotony of adulthood and used as a reminder to play. Life is too short not to have fun!

4. You’ve mentioned that traveling abroad and experiencing different cultures influences your work.  Where are you favorite places to travel to and what is it about each location that you’re drawn to? 

My favorite places to travel to are Paris and Japan, I think perhaps because of the fashion. My clothes, like my work, are quite bright and textural and it's places like these that have pockets that embrace these differences. 

5. Are there any artists - ceramicists, painters, musicians, etc. whose work you really admire? 

If you check out who I follow on Instagram I really do admire everybody who's on that list. In terms of individuals I'd like to shout out Raina Lee (ceramicist), Sunja Park (ceramicist), and Michiko Murakami (ceramicist).  

6. What’s your favorite color?! 

That's a tough one! I think bright marigold.