• Tyron Harkiss-Foster

Inside MiMOKO Ceramics: A Conversation with Monique Skelton

MiMOKO is a brand of ceramic ware designed for plants to inspire you to live amongst more greenery. Plants have a miraculous way of lifting our spirits, fuelling our inspiration and improving our wellbeing. 

MiMOKO was born out of a need to be surrounded by more nature indoors and to make nurturing your plants an easy, enjoyable and elegant experience.

We were so happy to have had the opportunityto sit down with Founder and Artist, Monique Skelton, to discuss the history of MiMOKO, next steps, and where this innovative ceramicist draws her inspiration. 

What is the story behind your brand?

It comes from a long love of Japanese product design. Ever since I was in university and studying in school, I’ve always had interest in the simplicity of Japanese design, architecture, and culture – it’s so simple, yet so refined, and elegant.

I’m moved by the meticulous nature of Japanese culture, especially how various forms of craft are passed on from generation to generation. I was born a perfectionist, being quite detail-oriented, so it aligned with my art practice, the special care, the dedication, I love all of it.

From that love of Japanese design,  I started my ceramics course in 2015 and took off from there. MiMOKO has been a great medium that’s gifted me the ability to portray what I wanted, it’s allowed me to be creative and even though you’re bound to a wheel… there are endless options to create. I’m not a very good drawer on paper, but when I’m on the wheel, ‘drawing’ in 3D, new designs come easily.

Where did you get the name and concept for MiMOKO?

My nickname is “Mo” and I wanted a name with Japanese roots. MiMOKO is a derivative of the common girls' name “Momoko”. I had always wanted something unique to house my growing collection of plants, and it was tough to find planters that had sufficient drainage while looking great too. And so the concept of MiMOKO was born.

This one might be a hard one, but do you have a favourite product that you've made thus far?

That's hard! I love all of them, but I like the concept and simple stacking shapes of the self-watering planters. They are a unique, effortless way to take care of your plants. Basically they are a two-part planter with a wick sending water upwards from the lower water reservoir to the plant in the upper vessel.

What is the next step for MiMOKO?

I would like to get into slip casting as I love the clean casted finish. I would be great to have that going on the side and use my wheel to create new designs. I had a jewellery business earlier and would eventually like to revisit that again one day, using porcelain as a medium. I want MiMOKO to be a brand that people recognize and can relate to quality products with bold and unique designs.

Aside from your passion for ceramics and MiMOKO, what else are you passionate about?

I love to travel, life is so short so you really have to make the most of it. I love the endless beauty that BC has to offer, and we often go camping and hiking. I travelled to Japan earlier this year for the first time and it was a mesmerizing experience being able to experience the culture first hand.  Being able to experience other cultures, food, and their heritage really adds richness to your life.

I’ve always loved plants! Growing up in New Zealand we had a huge garden so we were always surrounded by nature. My mum has a green finger, anything she touches just thrives, it’s a huge inspiration! Cycling is also a passion of mine, especially in a city like Vancouver. 

My friends and family have been my biggest supporters. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish any of this. I am endlessly grateful for this.

Out of a desire to create quality and unique planters that were hard to source elsewhere, Monique Skelton founded MiMOKO soon after her first pottery class in 2015 that would later transcend her on an unforgettable journey. To learn more about MiMOKO, visit www.mimoko.me.

This blog post was originally crafted for Örling & Wu—a lifestyle and homeware store located in Vancouver, BC—when I served as their Social Media Manager and in-house Photographer.

Click here to be forwarded to the original blog post.

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