The Queue: Michele Quan

The Queue: Michele Quan

Get to know the people featured in the pages of our magazine as they share what's inspiring them right now.

Published on Monday, April 5, 2021.
Cover graphic for The Queue featuring Michele Quan

Introducing the Nourish series of The Queue

A biweekly roundup for and by the craft community, The Queue introduces you to the artists, curators, organizers, and more featured in the current issue of American Craft. We invite these inspiring individuals to share personally about their lives and work as well as what's inspiring them right now.

Michele Quan on "Filling the Well" With Breath and Inspiration

Based in New York, Michele Quan creates ceramic art & objects for the home and garden. As a canvas for her love of drawing, painting, text, and color, her work often explores visual symbols of Eastern iconography and ideas of impermanence and interconnection. Sarah Archer inteviewed Michele for "Nurturing a Creative Practice" featured in the Spring issue of American Craft. @mquanstudio

Portrait of Michele Quan holding artwork

Portrait courtesy of MQuan Studio.

How do you describe your work or practice?
I am a ceramicist.

During this time of COVID-19 isolation and social unrest/calls for change, how are you finding beauty and staying grounded?
There is so much that has happened since March 2020 on EVERY LEVEL of our beings. Life felt and still feels raw and exposed. It can be scary, horrific, tragic, and sometimes downright ugly, but there is also love, kindness, strength, and beauty to be found. How do we reconcile all of this? NYC was hit hard early, and looking back now, I can see how totally ungrounded I felt. The simple act of breathing was a great help. In 2016, I had a heart "issue." I'm pretty sure it was related to stress, and NOT breathing, so when I feel stressed, I very soon remember to breathe. It's like a salve for stress.

Wallhangings by Michele Quan

Read Michele's advice in "Nurturing a Creative Practice" in the Spring issue of American Craft. Photo courtesy of MQuan Studio.

Can you reflect on the current issue of American Craft's theme of "nourish" as it relates to your work and practice?
I "fill the well" with words, poetry, podcasts, stories, history, nature, yoga, music, family, friends. There is so much available to guide and inspire us from people who have shared their own journeys and process. Although sometimes I forget and get stuck.

What podcast should we be listening to right now, and why?
I have so many that I love to listen to. On Being (@onbeing) and Ten Percent Happier (@tenpercenthappier) are my go-to's. So much help, inspiration, and beauty to be found there.

What book should we be reading or paying attention to right now?
I just finished listening to Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer (@braiding_sweetgrass). What a beautiful book and reminder on how to connect and honor our lives and our earth. And now I am listening to The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson (@isabelwilkerson).

Cover of Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Cover of The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
There is so much available to guide and inspire us from people who have shared their own journeys and process.

Are you binge-watching anything right now?
I am binge-watching The Great Pottery Throw Down (@potterythrow). It reminds me of how I fell in love with ceramics and all the artists at Greenwich House Pottery (@greenwichhousepottery).

Photo of exterior hanging sign of Greenwich House Pottery Three participants in a ceramics workshop

Michele was previously a student at Greenwich Pottery House. After acquiring her own studio, she taught classes for kids for two years. Photos courtesy of MQuan Studio.

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