I found Miro's work a few years ago and I have one of her cards on my bulletin board. Her amazing dexterity is plain to see in her wire creations. I enjoy the whimsical quality of her work and it's simple and graphic nature.
Artist: Miro Chun
Web site: fold here, fold here (big cartel)
Blog: fold here
What do you create?
These days, mostly handmade greeting cards, made with wire and paper + thread. I have a line that is made primarily with wire objects attached, and then another line that is sewn—sometimes as mobiles. I am working on a few new things though—hopefully in the next week or so, I'm going to release a small collection of jewelry (all made with wire—except instead of the black coated copper I usually use, it will be out of sterling silver and gold fill). I try to keep everything I make bright, simple, and modern.
When and why did you start your business?
I've always made greeting cards. The story I like to tell is that it started when I was in pre-school. My parents, having grown up in Korea, didn't know about Valentine's Day—or rather, the custom of exchanging cards with classmates on February 14th. One of the other mom's in the carpool must have said something to my mother—so the night before, we frantically made enough valentines for me to take to school the next day! My mother is an artist (an abstract expressionist painter), and she's always been "crafty", so she cut out these beautiful three-fold animals, such as squirrels and hippos, out of different colored construction paper. It was then my job to print each one with a tiny heart in a contrasting color—she made a stamp out of the end of a carrot (just like a potato print, but out of a different veggie)!
Anyway, that started the tradition of making handmade cards and I've never really stopped! Flash forward to a couple years after college, while working as an architect, I was getting a little frustrated with the long, drawn-out timeline of an architecture project- you work on a project, throw your heart and soul into it, and then it's often years before you see it completed. I was looking for a side project that would provide me with a little more instant gratification! And since the process that goes into creating a building involves multiple people with different ideas and agendas, not to mention money, every project becomes embroiled with a lot of complex emotions, not all positive, both within the process, and with the end result. I wanted another outlet that would let me make something to bring moments of joy into the world. When you give
and receive a card there's so much heartfelt emotion in the act—you know that it's picked out with care, and given with the best possible intentions! Who isn't happy when they receive or give a handmade card?
Which of your tools is your favorite?
I have a favorite pair of pliers- it's the perfect size for my hands-with pointy, even-sided tips, and a cutting edge too. I also took the little spring out that keeps it open- it made it hard for me to hold, and made my hand ache! I'm always looking for another pair though- just in case! I also love my sewing machine- it's just a fairly basic Kenmore from Sears, but it's a workhorse! I originally bought it to make the maid of honor's dress for my wedding, thinking I'd upgrade if I ever really used it again. Well, these days, I use it all the time- for my greeting cards, and also for things around the house and garden. I'm still thinking I'll upgrade when it dies, but I haven't had a problem with it since I bought it ten years ago.
What keeps you motivated?
The act of making things. I like the process, and I like being able to see the end result of a process. There's something very satisfying about holding something you've made yourself—especially in this day and age of industrialized goods. I'm also inspired by the work of other artists, my fellow small scale makers-of-things, as well as artists such as Alexander Calder and of course, the artist I was named after, Joan Miro!
Thank you so much Miro!