In case you missed it, we launched a collaboration mug with Rosemilk (@rosemilkceramics) on Tuesday that completely sold out in less than 3 hours! We chatted with the artist and designer, Malia Polsky, about her work as a ceramicist and what inspired the creation of this popular piece.
Tell us the origin story of Rosemilk and how you got started with ceramics.
"I signed up for a ceramics class on a whim in early 2016. The name Rosemilk came from a marbled acrylic tile I found at my old jewelry job. I was still harboring dreams of being a singer songwriter and thought it would be a good stage name. As ceramics became my main hobby I scrapped my demo and started signing the bottom of my pots with ROSEMILK. I didn’t start seriously selling work till 2018 and the serious following came in 2020."
How did your signature mascot, Lamby, come about and become such a major part of your designs?
"I was working on a project inspired by vintage mugs (the kind you find in thrift stores that remind you of your grandma) and was looking at a lot of 50’s and 60’s valentines and children’s books. I drew a lamb in my sketchbook with a huge head and one sassy eye peeking from the fluff and thought it would be cute on a mug. I made 3 to start and they blew up on Instagram. I ended up not finishing the original project and went head first into lamb after lamb after lamb. Next came stickers, then the Dripkit collab, and this summer I have a collection of Lamby merch I’m working on. She really took on a life of her own, I say I’m Lamby’s stage mom. I’ve seen some great and not so great bootleg Lambys, some consensual and some not. It’s all in good fun."
How did you come up with the design for your mug with Dripkit?
"Ilana is a very close friend of mine and a long time supporter of Rosemilk. We’ve wanted to collab since the beginning of both our businesses but my process is so slow/unique we couldn’t really make it work. Four years later, we came up with the idea to make a diner mug. We deeply studied the aesthetic of different souvenir mugs from the 60’s-90’s. We didn’t want to make a mass produced replica of a signature Rosemilk mug, we wanted to create an entirely new thing. Something that felt like it was truly 40 years old and found at a yard sale."
When you’re not creating Rosemilk pieces, you also teach ceramics at a children’s art studio in Brooklyn. What’s your favorite part about teaching kids art, and do you have any fun stories to share from that?
"This will sound so corny, but becoming a teacher is one of the best things that ever happened to me. Those kids are the reason why I refuse to make Rosemilk my #1 priority. The way selling ceramics on Instagram in 2021 works is very give give give. Teaching is the place where I recharge, get joy, and remember why I love ceramics. We recently made teapots in my advanced class and I was so blown away with their work. One student made a puppy teapot that fully looked like it was made by a professional ceramicist. Their creativity isn’t restricted in the same way an adults is, so I try to bring that into my own work."