Mien Muse | Linda Hsiao of Knotwork LA

Knotwork LA was founded by Linda Hsiao in 2012, and is an evolving collection of handcrafted ceramic home goods.

Knotwork originally began as an outlet to identify work that was done during spare time, evenings and weekends with the desire to make beautiful useful things. Linda was born and raised in Orange County CA, studied industrial design at Pratt in Brooklyn and graduated 2004. She spent a decade in the eyewear industry until her desire to work with her hands and create one-of-a-kind objects led her back to Southern California and to ceramics. Linda’s move to Los Angeles in 2009 coincided with her re-interest in studio pottery and a love of exploring the outdoors. She draws on the landscape of her childhood and surroundings for much of the inspiration for her work, which includes both functional and conceptual / decorative ceramics, wood ware and home product design. Each item is proudly handcrafted by Linda Hsiao in a small home studio in Altadena, California.

As customer of Mien's and a friend, we're honored to have our garments in her wardrobe and delighted to feature her as our Mien Muse.

What inspires your work? How does that comes through in the pieces you create? 
I love being inspired by the natural world, myths, and folklore while I’m sculpting and forming material. Hand building is a slow process. I enjoy leaving breadcrumbs in each piece to show how each one is made including leaving some overlap seams exposed, subtle texture of the canvas or my fingerprints leftover from pinching.
How long does a piece take from concept to final product?
Some ideas are simply executed in an afternoon but I’d say most concepts take a few months before the products are ready to sell. Over the years certain series have changed with time. Porcelain inlay patterns are ever changing, bird characters change with each time I sit down to sculpt, creatures have different personalities each time they are made.
How did you become a ceramic artist?

My need to work with my hands again was what brought me to ceramics. I love the feel and tactile nature of clay and how easy it is to be shaped and formed.  Working with clay and earth feels like the most natural thing and has become my happy place other than snuggling with my two children.

Do you have a favorite piece that you've created?

Every once in a while I keep a piece that speaks to me from a series I’m working on. Whether it's a certain feeling it gives, or the glaze turned out just so.  So there’s never been just one particular as my favorite but occasionally my favorite of the moment. Eventually those all get either listed online or if I’m very attached they get gifted to family and friends so I have the opportunity to visit that special piece again.

What do you suggest to someone looking to explore ceramics for the first time?

Sign up for a class, explore, experiment and just have fun.  There’s lots of ceramic studios these days and many with great beginner classes. If you get stung by the bug then go ahead and look into your local community colleges and schools for more intensive deep dive. 


Linda wears the Marshmallow Thermal in Meadow & Day Lantern Pant in Dark Moss

See Linda's work at https://www.knotworkla.com/