Jumie Ra ― Jumie Ceramics

by Grace Chung

Where do you find inspiration?  

My ceramic work draws inspiration from both the digital and tactile world of design communication and the beauty of nature. 

With my professional background in graphic design, my ceramic work is most known  for its “Statement Ware”, a collection of work adorned with tightly kerned, graphic  characters conveying a visual message in hand-drawn typography and blind embossed  textures. Expressing letters as visual forms is an approach motivated by Herb Lubalin,  a celebrated graphic designer and typographer known as the “father of conceptual  typography”. Just as importantly, communicating by touch is another form of  expression I treasure in my collection of work, inspired by the language of Braille. 

In contrast, the unpredictable and wild freedom in details and shapes expressed in  nature is one that never fails to amaze. With no creation alike, the color and grain  variations made by its environment and minerals in wood is a particular source of  inspiration. My “Earth Ware” and “Live Edge” collections celebrate one-of-a-kind  beauty in organic patterns or fluid, asymmetrical forms led by the character of clay(s)  used in the making process. 

What is your favorite part of the process?  

Never a quick process with so many uncontrollable variables, working with clay is a  labor of love and patience. Due to its delayed gratification, the excitement of opening  your kiln to see your concept successfully come to life in physical form is one that is  indescribable. My true joy and reward comes in seeing my ceramic work in its new  home and being enjoyed in everyday moments.  

How has the city of Los Angeles inspired you and your business?  What makes it ideal to root your business here? 

The city of Los Angeles is vast with different cultures, backgrounds and self  expressions allowing you to experience a world outside your own. It’s home to the big  dreamers and hustlers and also those who value and support these businesses and  handmade goods.  

Los Angeles has given me the freedom to be who I am, as a queer, Korean American,  creative with endless opportunities and communities to share and expand my ceramic  collections. As a small business owner and artist, it is priority to be in a community that  celebrates diversity as it serves as inspiration in my work as well as energize my soul. 

What have you learned about yourself and your Korean heritage  through the process?  

I’ve always had a desire to connect more with my Korean community and have long  been seeking opportunities to meet other Korean brands and creatives I could identify  with. It wasn’t until being introduced to Arnold and Kioh and the Maum community that  I’ve found a renewed connection with my Korean heritage as this was an area I found  lacking in my life for some time. Seeing new and modern interpretations of our  beautiful Korean culture translated in home goods, food and fashion has been nothing  short of captivating. It’s inspired me to create a unique collection of work celebrating  this shared heritage.  


What’s something surprising about you that no one would expect? 

Body building was a big part of my life and my form of meditation and recharge.  Transforming my body has been one of my most challenging goals and also a life  changing experience. I finally competed in my first competition in 2018 with memories I will cherish for a lifetime.  

If you were a superhero, what would be your superpower?

If I had a superpower, it would be the ability to stop time. As a child, and even now on  some occasions, I’ve always wanted to be Evie, a half alien teenage girl from the TV  series “Out Of This World”. She had the unique ability to put her fingers together to  stop time whenever she wanted. As someone who’s always had many goals or in deep  moments of creation, time has always been my source of constraint.

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