At first glance the two seem like an unlikely pairing: the verbose and mild ceramic specialist/ artist Eunbi and the laidback, but confident Ariel Stark- owner of cannabis culture brand Mister Green. Yet as the conversation continues, it becomes apparent that there is a lovely synergy between them borne out of a mutual respect and understanding of each others strengths and boundaries.
To the inquiry of why the pair made the irregular choice of using ceramic as their signature material, Ariel replies “Eunbi has been working with ceramics for years…” before Eunbi naturally completes his idea and elaborates: “ I started when I was 10 but I never actually pursued it until a year ago. I started as an assistant at a company where I worked for 2 years and then I left to make my own line…then connected with Ariel.” Their relationship seems to mirror the push and pull of waves lapping against the shore, whispering art in one direction, then singing pot in the other —a perfect balance that bespeaks the harmony of their artistic line.
Ariel delineates their journey to synergy: “It was pretty easy to kind of make a selection process and an idea of building process because Eunbi’s studio is [basically] a ceramic lab and she has a very specific aesthetic that she works in. It’s a kind of language that she’s built and so it was very conversational.” He goes on to explain that “…many of the pieces were already existing in her line so it was more about building a shared aesthetic in order to present what I felt would marry the message between the two brands.”
Eunbi’s accessories line “Made for Play,” seeks to re-define a minimalist ideology by creating beautiful objects that appear minute, but in fact depict the intersection of multi-use function and design. In explanation, Eunbi states that she, “…like[s] things that are pretty but also practical and fun because if it just looks pretty and doesn’t do anything, [then] I feel like it’s a little less attractive. I like stuff that has hidden purposes or is multi- purpose so the more you use it, [the more uses you discover].”
Ariel and Eunbi’s groundbreaking approach arises from a series of influences which include their environment and other artists as well as a commitment to a holistic appreciation for art. Further, it is within the joining of purposefulness and playfulness that the two have begun to revolutionize the dynamics that lie at the intersection of art, usage and the added thoroughfare of cannabis culture. As the road less travelled becomes increasingly popular via the usage of new and innovative materials and shapes, Ariel and Eunbi’s avant- grade methods serve as a beautiful addition to a burgeoning industry.
One of Eunbi’s most popular pieces (and my personal favorite) is the Pomo Tea Bowl which is a pewter- colored ceramic bowl artfully marked with wide slashes of chalky white stripes (it also comes in an off- white stone color). The small bowls are earmarked with orange-y blocks that bring to mind blocks of terra-cotta laid on many a sweating roof throughout Los Angeles. The bowl and its elegantly simple design are both idiosyncratic and iconoclastic.
As the sweet sinsemilla continues to seep into and become accepted into the mainstream consciousness, it is clear that a distinct evolution is taking place. One, the national perception of cannabis users and all associated products are becoming increasingly de-stigmatized with increasing legalization, allowing previous sectors of the population to feel comfortable enough to explore the culture; two, an influx of new people allows for an influx of new ideas which means new directions and a limitless future; and three, the increasingly popular view of the marijuana industry as a legitimate enterprise that has attracted a significant number of well- respected “angel” investors with stakes in Silicon Valley.
Ariel perfectly describes the hope for Eunbi’s line an influence on the future of art, the mainstream and cannabis culture: “It will be that kind of divine interference in setting people free in that they didn’t consider this lifestyle as being for them until they realized that there’s not a lot of stigma in [a product] that’s both really beautiful on the shelf and its got a dual purpose, it’s a win- win.”
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