Meet Your Maker-Laconic Story

This weeks MYM is Laconic Story, a ceramic artist and designer. I saw Miranda's work recently at Etsy: Made in Canada and it was so amazing I knew I had to have her on this series. Hope you all enjoy!!

 Introduce yourself and your business. 

My name is Miranda, and I am a designer turned ceramic artist. I graduated from OCAD University in Environmental Design, then returned back to the university for a minor in Ceramics in 2017.
My business name is called Laconic Story; laconic means short, precise, and using few words, so business name literally means "Short Story". The idea behind Laconic Story is that I make ceramic animal sculptures/ objects that is completed with a short story I can share about specific animals species at risk of extinction.

How did you launch your business & what made you want to start a small business?

The business started as making tiny animal tchotchke and as a hobby, selling in small market fairs. I wanted to start a small business because I immediately started working in the design industry once I graduated. I was a designer specialized in residential design. After a several years in the industry, the rhythm, ethics, and routine was not what I expected. I could never design something that I can call my own, and most of the time I would not be able to see the completed design. I may take part in a small part of the project, which may not seem important in the scheme of things. So I started designing and making my own things with ceramics, which I believe should be meaningful, and that I can share the experience and process in making them with the customers.

What are some struggles you had starting your business and how did you over come them?

My business started out very difficult. I have no idea what direction I want to take in terms of making my ceramics. But as I try to experience different methods in creating ceramics(hand building, throwing, and slip casting), the process became natural and things just falls into place. I was also very stubborn in many aspects - for example, I dislike slipcasting and wanted to abandon it in my practice completely. I stuck with throwing my Canopic Jars individually on the wheel, and spent a lot of time making them individually unique. However, I still had a full time (now part time) job, and was not able to maintain consistency and cannot control drying time correctly, so the loss rate was very high. But I started the slipcast the general form (which I only need to throw the master model once!) I was able to control casting and drying time to fit my hectic schedule!

Where do you draw inspiration from?

I draw inspirations from all recent environmental issues related to animals at risk of extinction and also animals I like alot.

What motivates you as a maker?

Going to shows motivates me! Although not everyone comes to my table to purchase something from me, but when they see my booth and what I sell, people always smile! I had people who just passes by, with frowns on their face, and when they see my Canopic Jars, their faces relax and sometimes the edge of their lips will slowly turn into a smile!
Another thing that motivates me is that when people learn something new from me! It means that my research really pays off!

 What is a goal you set for yourself as a maker/artist and how did you achieve it?

I have many short term goals that I set every week (see pic below) and I try my best to accomplish all of them by the end of the week. As a long term goal, we have just recently set it - so glad you asked! We want to make Canopic Jars until I can take a MFA in Ceramics to further my skills in larger ceramic animal sculptures!

What is your favorite part of being a maker?

Being in control! All the timing, decisions, marketing, design, all of the above I can say it is mine proudly. With that said, these are all responsibilities that forces you to learn something new everyday, which I also enjoy thoroughly as being a maker!

Do you have any tips for new makers/ small business owners?

I am technically still a new maker (still learning!) so it may not be any expert tips, but if things ever get tough, don't give up! There are 2 ways to solve it: drop it and come back to it with a fresh new look or repeat until it gets easier! There are no other ways to face your problems - if you give up or leave it, it will come back to haunt you later!
Another little secret is to always have someone to co-own your business! I am fortunate enough to have my husband who is willing to take part in my business decisions. Always have someone who cares about the business as much as you to provide you with second opinions - not your best friend, not your parents - it has to be someone who also has to take up the responsibility after the decision is made! It is always mentally and emotionally important to know that someone will take up the weight of the responsibility with you, makes rough times easier.

What are some hobbies or interests you have outside of your small business?

My husband and I love antique shopping! We become better designers and makers if we are more aware what people value in the past and in the present!

Share a fun fact about yourself.

I love animals (if that is not obvious enough already!) My first job was working at PetsMart, taking care of all small animals - including the adoption cats! I am not afraid to count your crickets and worms by hand, and hold snakes, lizards, birds and even fish in my hand! But I cannot do spiders!


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