Ceramic Artist @chichi_bam
We interviewed Berlin-based ceramicist, Chi Cao Hanh @chichi_bam. Read on to discover how she developed her connection to clay, her creative inspirations, and more.
Who are you and where are you from?
My name is Chi and I am ceramicist based in Berlin. I was born in Hanoi Vietnam.
Where are you based now, and what brought you there?
I’m a Berliner. Grew up here and love to live here. My studio is here in Berlin. But I spend a lot of time in the uk countryside, to spend time with friends and family.
“I really feel a real intrinsic and almost monogamous connection to clay.”
“Nature, its beauty, fragility, and the mandatory need to preserve it, is a constant and very tangible influence when working elements of the Earth.”
How did you get into ceramics?
I used to run a fusion Japanese restaurant for over 12 years and I was always looking for unusual and unique table ware. Me and my mum started to produce our own bowls and plates made of porcelain. We created the design and they got produced in Vietnam in our hometown. It was such a cute idea but it took very long and shipping way was also not very sustainable. So I thought I should learn how to do it. When I started 2016 with my first classes and internship I felt immediately in love with the process. Everything was so different then from my work life.
“It’s the intangible connection of Earth to it’s surroundings that allows me to freely channel my own creativity into the materials.”
As a ceramicist, I really feel a real intrinsic and almost monogamous connection to clay. It’s strange to put it in these terms but clay really does reward your full-time commitment and without this commitment, it’s impossible to create work that is different. There is such a level of failure to eventually get successful that once you achieve some results you realise that the ceramic world is so vast that you can’t help but get lost in it. Other materials or media just don’t seem as nourishing.
Your biggest inspiration for your work at the moment?
Inspiration for my work in general comes in many forms. Nature, its beauty, fragility, and the mandatory need to preserve it, is a constant and very tangible influence when working elements of the Earth. But it’s the intangible connection of Earth to it’s surroundings that allows me to freely channel my own creativity into the materials - finding surges of inspiration and motivation from the moon and it's cycles. For me, the moon is a reminder of my own wanderlust and longing for freedom, a symbol of peacefulness, tranquility, and boundlessness. Not always visible, but it’s presence always felt. Our closest ally and yet a constant reminder of that very fragility with which we and all around us exists.
How would you describe your personal style? Does this style influence your work?
A mix of classic timeless wool or cashmere pieces and colorful mesh top or pants. Sometimes with a beret hat or a silk scarf. But always with my earrings on.
Best album to listen to whilst creating?
Ori Lichtik, Cello music or FKA Twigs
Tell us the story behind your jewellery.
My bracelet I’m wearing was a present to myself, I bought my partner the same. It’s silver, chunky and has a golden closure. My necklaces are gifts from my grandmother, my friend sarnai and vintage necklace I bought in Spain. I have plenty ear piercings, some a simple pearls from my friend from Bali or little diamonds. I literally never take them out.
“There is such a level of failure to eventually get successful that once you achieve some results you realise that the ceramic world is so vast that you can’t help but get lost in it.”
Likes: Good food and holding hands, not both in the same time.
Dislikes: If you don’t take off your shoes in someone else’s house.
Model: Chi C. Hanh @chichi_bam
Clothing: Baiba Ladiga @ladiga Lala Berlin @lalaberlin Michael Sontag @michaelsontagatelier
Jewellery: Mies Nobis @miesnobis