We started Uno+Ichi in the beginning purely out of a need to make something. Hana had just broken away from her “career” path in education to push her art and found herself a little lost and in a somewhat self-deprecative state. Joanna’s sister had recently past away when Uno+Ichi began, and for Joanna it was about creating and living life after experiencing the opposite of that — loss. For both of us, Uno+Ichi was about relearning courage when you know something will take its twists and turns and not fall according to how it is expected, but finding excitement in that and taking the leap of faith.
There’s this whole magical component of ceramics: its healing qualities in the midst of stress and anxiety about the future, the world, and life in general. Ceramics requires you to be present. It requires you to ground yourself firmly. To take this ball of clay — wobbly at first and probably looking as confused and scared as we are — and center it. To form it. And create something beautiful. There’s a healing quality in the art form, and it has served as a kind of medicine to both of us. However, that’s not to say it’s not difficult work. It brings its own set of worries. For one thing, it’s extremely susceptible to ruin. There are so many opportunities to break or damage a piece. And it can be very unpredictable. We can make something beautiful, but the glazing can completely change a piece, and each firing can be very different. We can’t be precious in this profession, but we think it’s great practice for life.
How We Met
Hana and Joanna met during their first week at Brown University and have been friends ever since. When they started living together in Providence, that is when their creative energies really started to collide, transforming their space into art worlds. Just like their pieces and characters, sometimes they are wildly laughing or crying or surprised. Whatever the emotion, we embrace what is life and encourage you to partake in these stories.
What's In A Name
Uno+Ichi means “one plus one” — uno as in the Spanish word for “one,” and ichi as in the Japanese word for “one”. We found this fitting for its more literal meaning of two people working together on something: me+you, Joanna+Hana, 1+1. We also wanted it to speak to our feelings of taking this one step at a time. It represented our belief that we could build something by taking those little steps, one at a time, each day.
What's In A Symbol
Inspired by seal script, Uno+Ichi’s logo builds on our interest in linguistics and mark-making. The logo is a personified version of the ancient Chinese character for “和,” which can mean “and” and “harmonious.” This character sums up Uno+Ichi’s collaborative process — just as disparate musical notes together can create harmonious music, our collaboration is comprised of two artists contributing different perspectives on a singular vision, and of course, a character is turned into a character.