I fell in love with Jason Miller‘s studio work when I supposed to profile him in the launch issue of a debuting gift-centric magazine. The article never happened, but I — on a whim — asked if he’d partake in one of FashionWhirled’s upcoming Friday:5ive features. He acquiesced and are we ever the grateful blogger on this end!
Jason Miller, the artist
His artwork is whimsical and enduring. Plates, like these below, caught my eye immediately. Called “Seconds,” they are a pun (my favorite form of humor) on multiple levels, visually as well as verbally.
Jason Miller Dinner Plate Set, “Seconds”
This Brooklyn-ite founded the Jason Miller Studio in 2001, and has enjoyed solo shows worldwide, from Istanbul to Milan to Miami. In 2010, the Brooklyn Museum named him “Designer of the Year,” and his work remains a part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Arts and Design, the Corning Museum of Glass and the Brooklyn Museum. As a compliment to his studio, Jason recently formed Roll & Hill, a contemporary lighting company producing work by a select group of designers, with Jason as the Creative Director and CEO.
FashionWhirled: As an artist, what role does fashion or style play in your everyday life, personally and as a product designer? How does your personal style inspire your designs for Jason Miller Studio overall? For individual collections, such as “Daydreams?” (i.e., it seems you have a tenacious personal style of design!)
Jason Miller “Daydreams” mirror
Jason Miller: I have to say I have fantasies of refining my wardrobe to such a degree, that there are no choices left to make. I’d love to whittle it down to the perfect pair of jeans (APC), the perfect blue button-down shirt (still undecided) and the perfect pair of shoes (Vans, different styles according to season). In practice it’s not quite as dogmatic, however, I think the process of refinement is very similar to how I like to approach my work.
FW: Your artwork and product pieces range from furniture to gift objects to tableware; I think my favorite pieces are your porcelain “Little Gift” and your “Seconds” dinner plates! What inspires you during your creative process? How would you describe your creative process? (It seems humor plays a big part in your designs…).
Jason Miller “Little Gift” porcelain cupcake
JM: The two products you mention, Little Gift and Seconds, both came from a show I did in 2005 called “Ok As Is.” I was working with a specific idea about personal spaces that are outside of public view, such as the basement or garage. I am working with different ideas now, however, this is typical of how I like to work. That is, I like to think of a larger idea about living and then design pieces that fit within that framework.
FW: Who would you say acts as your muse? Why and how do they inspire you?
JM: I think I have finally gotten to a point in my career where I am confident enough in what I am doing that I can be self-directed. There are of course, millions of things out there that I find inspiring, however, I think my days of looking towards a muse are over. For now at least…
FW: If you could have any notable individual — dead or alive — purchase Jason Miller pieces and use them within their home, who would it be and why? How would you change their home or decorating or home accessorizing style and why?
JM: Someone once told me that an installation I made looked “very Tom Ford.” I can’t think of someone who I would rather have interested in my products.
Designer Tom Ford from the documentary by Alex Folzi
FW: What words of wisdom or inspiration, or daily affirmation do you live by, or at least strive to live by? And what legacy do you hope to leave to the future and why?
JM: I hope people will simply think “Jason Miller was a good designer” when I’m gone. That is why I constantly ask myself, “Can this be done better?”
Jason Miller wooly chair of bison hide