We had the good fortune of connecting with Mira Lanz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mira, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I believe showcasing the “behind the scenes” to my brand/work is what drives its success. I aim for MCL Ceramics to be personable, engaging, and interactive through a redefined idea of the expression of struggle. There are constant ups and downs within the practice of ceramics and I believe it is essential to reveal that openly and compassionately in order to create a more meaningful connection between maker and viewer. Ceramics, and wheel throwing specifically, is accompanied with the impression of seamless perfection, which I find silly. I think the real success is within pulling back that curtain and documenting all the moments that go into the seemingly “perfect” finished results. In a way, it educates the viewer on the practice through this sort of babbling spillage of externalized internal monologue, and I love that that’s what creates a truly personal connection, and thus success.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I always start these questions off with saying I grew up painting and drawing, then proceed to give credit to my mother for teaching me those skills at such a young age. (Very grateful, thank you Mona.) But recently I had obtained my BA from Art Center, and that’s where the professional foundation of my practice sits. To avoid this being long winded, it was not easy. Lots of trial and error, lots of failures and successes(?), lots of wondering what are failures and what are successes. The biggest thing I took from my relationship with my work, education or otherwise, was the idea of trust and space. Up until this last year, there was a level of tension between my work and I that seemed less than productive and more like gritting teeth. I held onto an old idea of control, stemmed from fear, that actually inhibited my work and ability to make work I was proud of looking back on in 5 months. The biggest thing I learned was to trust the ways and decisions I actively made in my work, and stop looking so far ahead, thus creating pressure onto myself. This is becoming long winded. But I think this goes to show what I would like the readers to know about my work/practice. I used to be a painter that hated ceramics, I am now a ceramicist that no longer paints. This goes beyond just MCL Ceramics. As an artist with a practice, I try best to situate myself in a productive laissez faire approach, being open to possibilities and running with ideas, and being quite meta on the whole thing in the process of that. I hope, more than anything, that this stimulates conversation between you and I, as well as with yourself and your own creativity. I like this idea of multifaceted connectivity.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There’s always the LA staples, like Hollywood Blvd, or Melrose, or Wax Museum. I don’t think you really get the greatest experience of Los Angeles in those places though. Best places to go are in the little nooks of the community, like the Silverlake Dog Park or LaMill Coffee, Cobb Estate hiking trail, or seeing the sunrise at the Griffith Observatory, support local businesses like Big Bud Press. I’m not sure in times of Covid and it’s protocols as of now, but the museums are amazing to visit, Hammer, Stroll Garden, Various Small Fires, Shulamit Nazarian, and so are the food trucks always near by.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Firstly, I’d have to thank my family. (As cheesy as it sounds) They have been a great support system through the trial and errors of me figuring out my artistic voice, let alone the privilege of being able to do so! Beyond that, I have met and become close with so many other amazing creatives like Sofia Goebel, Marina Lluch, Aya Cruz (to name a few), and in seeing these individuals consistently push and better their work, it has amplified and motivated me to do the same and I am very grateful for that. Amazing artists and Art Center teachers like Heather Rosenman & Nicola Vruwink for first teaching me ceramics and guiding me as I developed my clay practice! As well as the crew of Green & Bisque Clayhouse and Clay CA for giving me the opportunity to expand my knowledge and experience in ceramics even more!
Other: instagram: @mirasitaa