Maki Okamoto

Maki Okamoto is an applied artist living and working in Sweden. She explores the fields of corpus and contemporary jewellery with a sculptural approach. Her interest lies in creating objects that interact with the user. By transforming daily objects such as a fork or a spoon, she challenges the user to experience these pieces from a very different perspective.

What have you rebelled against in the past, and what are you rebelling against now?
In my work I often question the main functions of an object. I try to reveal other meanings and functions in the object. In that way I am rebelling against the normative reading of objects in my surrounding.

Do you need to be a rebel to enjoy your cutlery?
I do not really think you need to be a rebel, but you need to be open to what can happen between you and the cutlery, and your surroundings.

Do you use your own cutlery?
Not for daily use. I use them for special occasions.

Do you think cutlery can still be improved? if yes, in what way?
Yes, I want to continue making new cutlery together with clients out of their old cutlery. By doing this they become more personal.

What was the inspiration for your Steinbeisser series?
I was inspired by a bunch of old cutlery that lay on my working bench. They looked like something more than just utensils, just like how looking at a familiar alphabet character for a long time can make it look weird and exotic.

Describe your work in 3 words!
Borderless functional objects.

What kind of materials do you use and where do you get them from?
I mostly use old nickel silver cutlery from antique shops in Stockholm. Sometimes I use cutlery that I have inherited from my husband’s grandmother. I also work with cutlery that come from the customers’ own family.

What are you working on right now?
I have just finished with my first public art project. It is a series of mirror shaped sculptures in brass, copper and tombak. That project made me more curious towards working with a spatial perspective. Right now I am working on a collaborative project called Makiami together with the graphic designer Ami Izaki. Makiami has created modern jewellery sense 2013, and now we are expanding to create interior objects such as mobiles in various materials.

What excites you about tomorrow?
Moments where I am sitting on a sofa taking in simple but fascinating elements, such as beautiful sunlight reflection or shadows on walls.

What has been your favourite dinner experience?
My favourite dinner experience so far must have been the hot pot dinner I had with my school friends who all came from the same home country. We shared joyful and difficult experiences of living in a foreign country, at the same time as we shared our soul food from a big pot.

What further ambitions do you have?
To be open for new ideas, thoughts, and emotions.

Which are your 3 favourite pieces on Jouw…?
The Optic Spoons by Elin Flognman, the Soil Plates by Rebecca Deans, and the Two Fingers Spoons by Sophie Hanagarth.