Designer of the Day: Ellen Pong – SURFACE

Source Credit:  Content and images from Surface Magazine by .  Read the original article - https://www.surfacemag.com/articles/ellen-pong-designer-day/

Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.

Age: 26

Occupation: Ceramicist and designer.

Instagram: @ellen.pong 

Hometown: Bellevue, WA.

Studio location: Ridgewood, NY.

Describe what you make: Sculptural furniture and other (semi)functional objects.

The most important thing you’ve designed to date: I don’t think anything I’ve designed has been particularly important.

Describe the problem your work solves: It doesn’t solve any problems. If anything, the work is just an excuse for me to masochistically make up many little problems for myself that I then get to solve for personal enjoyment.

Describe the project you are working on now: I’m finalizing the work for my first solo show, opening Nov. 18 at Superhouse. My goal at the beginning of this year was to explore new materials and find ways to incorporate them with ceramics. I took inspiration from the landscape of the Pacific Northwest where I grew up. I’ve always been interested in how different natural materials and life forms collaborate together in acts of creative survival. I wanted to try and harness that energy while thinking about how ceramics could coexist in a similar way with materials like wood, glass, and metal. 

A new or forthcoming project we should know about: I’ve been working on some pieces for Superhouse’s booth at Design Miami (Nov. 30–Dec. 4). I’m always wrestling with the challenge of how to work larger than the size of the relatively small kilns at my studio. It’s pushed me to make work in unconventional ways and the pieces for Miami demonstrate that. 

What you absolutely must have in your studio: I don’t really need anything. Maybe just wifi and heat in the winter, but even those I can, and often do, go without.

What you do when you’re not working: If I’m not at the studio, I’m either babysitting, online shopping, running a bunch of unnecessary errands, or scheming on wholesome activities that I can coerce my friends to participate in. I also recently bought a keyboard and started playing piano again after retiring in high school. I took lessons for 12 years, and figured it’d be a waste to quit.

Sources of creative envy: I admire the irreverence that kids sometimes have towards making things. I say sometimes because kids past a very young age are very self-conscious of their clumsiness in imitating the world around them, even though that’s precisely what we find so charming and “creative” about the things they make. I guess it depends on how you define the term, but I don’t think I really envy anyone’s “creativity.” I have plenty of respect for people, but not so much envy.

The distraction you want to eliminate: I’m very grateful for all the distractions in my life. I wouldn’t want to get rid of any of them. 

Concrete or marble? Lol no thanks.

High-rise or townhouse? Just a regular house?

Remember or forget? Forget.

Aliens or ghosts? Pleading the 5th.

Dark or light? “Shout out to Asian girls, let the lights dim some.” – Drake

Source Credit:  Content and images from Surface Magazine by .  Read the original article - https://www.surfacemag.com/articles/ellen-pong-designer-day/