I can imagine that when our featured maker Min of Bottle of Clouds sees the doodles in her sketchbook come to life using the laser cutter machine, it brings her such happiness. Her little creations bring smiles to so many faces, and her story is one to make you smile as well. Meet Min and check out her adorable art!
Please introduce yourself.
Hi! My name is Min Yu. I was born and raised in a small island called Jeju-do in South Korea. Then I went to England to study fashion design and I met my dear husband there and now I live in Oakland, California.
What do you make or do?
I make colorful laser-cut and hand-painted wooden jewelry. All of my works start out from my sketchbook. I use my doodles and turn them into brooches, pendants, earrings and more.
Where can we find your creations?
You can find me at local craft fairs and my Etsy shop, https://www.etsy.com/shop/bottleofclouds
Is there an interesting story behind the name of your business? How did the name come about?
I love clouds, rainy day, raincoats and cute umbrellas! And what can make more fun to filling an empty bottle of all the imagination of my head! It just came to me like a poetry.
How long have you been creating and is it your full-time job?
I first started making fabric goods as a hobby, while selling them online. In the meantime, I was working at a design build studio.
Then fate brought Nicole into my life 3 years ago. So I started vending at the Patchwork Show, and that’s what made me think of my creation also as a serious business.
Seeing a laser-cutter at Maker Faire through my work at the design build studio also made me realize I could do something unique and special with this machine’s possibilities.
I left my job about 2 years ago, and running “Bottle of Clouds” has been my full time job since.
Me and my business grew with Patchwork Show and I really think that if Nicole didn’t ask me to join her show, I couldn’t be where I am now.
When you’re not making things, what do you do?
I read and read then read. Korean books, English books, comics and anything readable around me, I read.
Where do you find inspiration?
Everything around me is my inspiration. Since almost of my creations are from my doodle sketchbook, inspirations are from reading, watching TV and movies, visiting museums, bookstores, meeting friends and talking to new people. I usually focus on the moment, what I am into, what I see, how I feel and where I am. My drawings and colors are very affected by those environments.
What would be your perfect day off?
Aw! I really never had a day off since I stopped my day job. There’s always something to do and most of my activities happen at my home studio and also I am not an outdoor person unless it’s a cloudy or rainy day. (Oh my gosh! I like going outside with my super cute umbrella so much!)
Visiting my sister’s home and playing with my nephew and niece all day long will make the day perfect.
Who are the makers that inspire you?
So many of them! But I got so much advice and inspiration from Trish from “Miso handmade”. She’s helped me so many ways – practically and mentally.