The audio file for this article was produced by the Ceramic Arts Network staff and not read by the author.

Ceramics Monthly: What draws you to use slip casting as a forming technique?

Yunji Shin: I tend to organize objects and spaces habitually. And I find these habits are reflected when I create my works. I experienced slip casting for the first time at 19 years old, and I became interested in the unique neatness and simplicity that stood out in the process of mold making and slip casting. I made unit-based works with standard processes at the beginning of my ceramics education. Through these practices, I thought, “Could I use molds like the toy blocks I played with in my childhood?” That’s how I started studying modular molds.

1 Pumpcrown carriage (Fairy range), 10 1/2 in. (27 cm) in height, porcelain, slip casting, 3D printing, stain, clear glaze, fired to 2264°F (1240°C), laser engraving, silk screen, luster, gold, 2022. Photo: Catherine Dineley.


I believe that the slip-casting technique is the best way of expressing both my tendencies and my outlook on the worldas a ceramic designer.

CM: What do you do to push yourself to stay engaged with the field of ceramics and develop new forms?

YS: I love to collect toys and watch animations. Also, I like to go to toy stores or fairy-tale bookstores for reference. In society, people like me are called Kidults (kid + adult).

I have sometimes felt stuck in technical limitations even in the process of thinking about ideas, so I intentionally imagine a world that’s initially made in only two dimensions so that I don’t limit my ideas. It can be any silly thing because I love silly stuff! Anything is possible in the imaginary world, isn’t it? And I bring some of the images into the form of my works. Each idea goes through a process of revising, considering the functionality and technique.

I began to look at my imaginative world as inspiration, and I felt that the narrative of the works became stronger. At the same time, I was pleased that I could provide a little break for people to smile through my works.


2 Parade, to 10 1/2 in. (27 cm) in height, earthenware, slip casting, 3D printing, clear glaze, fired to 2021°F (1100°C), laser engraving, silk screen, luster, gold, 2022. Photo: Catherine Dineley.

CM: What role(s) do you think makers play within our current culture? How do you think you contribute to it?

YS: I thought about a similar question when I enrolled in my master’s program. I don’t think it is going to be easy to answer by limiting it to the “current” culture. I believe, in the end, the essence of our role exists in the same place regardless of the era.

However, if I’m talking about my beliefs, makers are artists and designers who choose to approach the public with “something made well.” It is an essential role—striving for proficiency in materials, to realize a world of creation. At the same time, just as the history of our makers has existed and has been protected since the early days of mankind, we have a responsibility as researchers who try different approaches to reflect changes in the world and make current traces for the next generation.

I believe I am contributing to that as one of the people doing it.

Learn more on Instagram @yunjishin.ceramic.

Topics: Ceramic Artists