Do or do not, there is no try. ~ Yoda

Pop-In Artisan: Ando Design

Pop-In Date: June 2012
Artisan Info: www.andodesign.com.au

It seems that life is quite complicated. Or perhaps it is not life that is complicated, but ourselves that make life much more complicated that it really needs to be.

In designing and creating, we often feel compelled to add, embellish, elaborate, decorate, amplify. We feel the need to add more value. But adding is easy and creating complexity seems like a normal way of living and doing. We sometimes forget to pay attention to ourselves and our materials, forcing them (and us) into uncomfortable positions and disregarding their honest and natural states of beauty. It is much more difficult to subtract, reduce, simplify, untangle and resist the temptations to complicate for complication’s sake. And so there is a fine balance between adding and subtracting to bring out the best in our materials, and the best in ourselves.

And so we were thrilled to discover the elegant simplicity of the ceramic jewellery and interior accessories by and o designs.

Yumi has certainly achieved this balance of adding and subtracting, the results of which illustrate the natural beauty of porcelain emphasised by considerate selections of shape, colour, texture and tone. Uncomplicated, thoughtful, charming, everlasting – also true to Mrs Woo’s philosophy.

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What’s the best thing about what you do?

The and o design journey has brought me many discoveries and positive experiences. I greatly appreciate the independence that working from a home studio offers, being able to create within my own environment, manage my own time, and allow inspiration to become reality whenever it strikes. Above all though, the best thing is seeing joy on peoples faces when they discover my pieces, touch them and understand them. Knowing that your work can bring a smile to the world is a powerful motivation!

What are you looking forward to in the year ahead?

2012 is going to be super busy! Im excited about opportunities like High Tea with Mrs Woo, who are kind enough to showcase my work interstate, and lots of fun markets planned out for the year. I am also hoping to introduce a really wide range of new pieces this year, as I study more throwing and glazing techniques, and experiment with some fantastic new materials. There is always more to learn, more things to try and more work to enjoy.

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Your work comes across as quiet nostalgic, is their anything in particular that continuously inspires your creative process?

Not really, that would be too simple! I like to draw inspiration from a lot of different angles, and let them show themselves as they come to life when the clay reaches my hands. The small things around me sometimes speak the loudest, stones, shells, plants, wildlife, signs, architecture, geometry… things which are always there, but so often un-noticed. I have a strong interest in many forms of design, from the technical (some of my work begins in AutoCAD) to the organic (pure experimentation), as well as graphic design, fashion, interior design, photography and beyond. I have always placed a strong importance on the visual world, and like to find ideas in as many places as possible.

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Have you always worked with ceramics?

and O Design is still young as it was only founded in 2010. Although I had created some ceramics purely for myself before then, mostly I had been spending my time studying Interior Design (RMIT), enjoying photography, working in visual merchandising, and wondering how I could reach the satisfaction of becoming a self employed creator. Working with ceramics was always just one of many things I wanted to learn, and it is wonderful to have had the support of so many kind followers, customers and friends.

Story and interview by Angela Foong.
Product shots courtesy of Yumi Ando, other snapshots by Ro and Julse.