Introducing Mia Casal Cermanics, a small mug studio located in San Narciso, Zambales, Philippines.
A collection of mugs that offer a tactile and evoking sense of calm in your home. We sat down with Mia to discus all aspects of life inspiration and the impact she makes on her community.
In Filipino culture we often speak about Bayanihan spirit (Tagalog term meaning sense of community) being engrained into our culture. Can you share with us how your business has had an impact on your community?
I have trained some of the youth in our Barangay in Bgy. La Paz, San Narciso, Zambales, to help in the production of Ceramics. There are a lot of work which are involved in creating Handmade Ceramics such as processing clay, throwing pots with the wheel, trimming pots, attaching handles, firing the kiln, cleaning the pots, packing them and sending them to our clients. Each department involves hardworking people who are dedicated in accomplishing their daily tasks.I came to Zambales from Manila in 2013 and I was doing everything on my own in the beginning. I noticed that there were a lot of jobless youth in our Barangay. I trained some of them and now - we are seven people in the Pottery Studio. Three of us are Potters and the others are helping with the other tasks.
Here at En Gold we embrace organic and native materials. Can you share with us what materials you use and how they are unique to your region?
We use stoneware clay and we add black sand from Zambales to our clay mixture to give the appearance and feel of our clay, rustic and full of texture.
What is your inspiration behind your work?
My inspiration behind the Barnacle Mugs are the tiny clusters of barnacles I see on driftwood along the shore after a strong typhoon. Plenty of driftwood are washed ashore during this season and the ocean is generous with sources of inspiration around this time. I played with the idea of attaching handles on barnacles to turn them into mugs. Thankfully, people have been wanting to have them in their homes!
What is the most gratifying part of your job?
The most gratifying part of my job is to see the next generation of Potters - learning a traditional skill in The Philippines. It takes a lot of years to become successful in this industry. A lot of physical strength, faith and perseverance are needed to stay in it.
What advice would you give to any other creatives hoping to start a business?
My advice for creatives who want to start a business is to be organised. Write ideas on paper as soon as you receive them. Work on accomplishing goals. Dream big and know that once you discover your passion and purpose in life, everything else will just flow. Work hard every single day and give yourself some time to rest too. Tasks can overflow until the next day or weeks. Don't try to finish everything in a day unless you really can. Focus on learning along the way. It's ok to make mistakes but try your best to learn from them.