We had the good fortune of connecting with Bruno Nakano and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bruno, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I started my ceramics journey without any specific goals or aspirations. It was simply a creative outlet outside of my day-job, and anything beyond that was already a success for me. Ceramics is a labor of love, and the process itself brings me a sense of purpose. When I see others enjoying my pieces, it only adds to that joy and reinforces the reasons why I work with clay.
But as my ceramics endeavor has grown and I’ve seen the impact it has on others, my definition of success has evolved. Knowing people that share the same values as me has also been a wonderful outcome of my journey. Being able to exchange ideas, collaborate, and support each other has only enriched my experience and added another layer of meaning to what success means to me.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Studio Mano was started because I wanted to do something offline. In a world where everything is connected and digital, I just wanted to go the opposite way. Also, as an introvert, I enjoy doing things on my own or with my partner. As the name “mano” suggests, everything I do is handmade in one-offs or small batches.
I try to not think too much about what sets me apart from others, but I do want people to feel a personal connection to my work. Each piece takes some of my time to be made. Hours. Days. And in today’s world, time is the most valuable commodity.
My inspiration comes from all the places I’ve lived, memories of my family, and symbols of everyday life. After participating in the Milan Design Week last year, I realized that I want to keep improving my creations both technically and conceptually. So, I’m excited to see where this journey takes me.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to shout out to my incredible parents. Apart from bringing me love and support everyday, they always encouraged me to be myself. Respecting my flaws, weirdness and personality. They are also my biggest font of inspiration.
Even though my mom works in a not-so-called creative job (she’s a biomedic at a kids public hospital), she’s one of the most creative people I know. At her job, she creates these little creatures made of paper to give to the patients. It’s an inexpensive thing that means the world to the kids. She believes in love as a form of healing. My mom also started working with ceramics again after a very long hiatus. I have memories of her showing me her ceramic creations when I was a kid in Mexico. Seeing her doing ceramics again makes me extremely happy and brings us together even more.
My dad is an architect and maker. He loves inventing and fixing things. He’s also a huge inspiration to me, the most focused and driven person I know. My partner Jocelyn and I are building our first home in Brazil together with him and I can confidently say that we couldn’t have done anything without his consultancy, hard work and creativity. Like my mom, he is also a nature advocate, currently working on creating the second compost area for the neighborhood and fighting with the city hall so that the spring river that passes by his house remains clean.
Profile photo by Jocelyn Lam