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Meet Moriah Okun of MOkun in Needham

Today we’d like to introduce you to Moriah Okun.

Moriah, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I learned this particular technique of basket making while taking a workshop by Doug Johnston, who makes beautiful vessels and sculptural work. It came at a perfect time. I took the class three years ago over the summer at Haystack school of Crafts in Deer Isle Maine and it was life changing. I had just switched my major from architecture to art and I felt really lost about where I wanted to go from there. I fell completely in love with basket making. There was something about the repetitiveness and simplicity in the coiling process in contrast to the freedom of the making that was so attractive. I took time off from school and have been making baskets ever since. Now, three years later, I have graduated from college, moved into the upstairs of my parents’ house with my two sewing machines and three cats, and am almost done with my first official year of business.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Some of the biggest struggles come around knowing how much of myself to invest in my business. I throw myself into everything I do, and I often undervalue my time. At first, I had a love/hate relationship with selling my work because I wasn’t charging enough for it. I have finally come to terms with the fact that what I make is beautiful and one of a kind and I deserve to be reimbursed for the time, materials, experience, style and care that I put into every basket I make.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with MOkun – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I make tubes, birdhouses, planters, vessels, wall hangings and more out of coiled rope and thread. My pieces are wonky, quirky, detailed, textural, and sometimes very tiny. From far away they appear too many as ceramics; walk up closer and realize the shapes and colors were a result of extremely dense zig-zag stitching.

All of my pieces are one of a kind and have a wonderful handmade quality to them. My baskets are so accessible because I use every day materials you would find at a hardware or fabric store and I turn them into something beautiful. They appear both wonderfully simple and extremely intricate.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am still just starting out, so in the immediate future I plan on continuing to do what I am doing- make functional and sculptural vessels for the home. Further on down the road I see my pieces really increasing in scale. At school I started to make vessels for bodies. I see my pieces becoming more wonky and sculptural and less functional.

Pricing:

  • Mini planters start at $24
  • Baskets range from $24-$148
  • Most baskets cost between $24 and $64

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jesika Theos and Cause Creative

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