Getting to Know Sev Koci: Artist behind Made Out of Water
Born in NYC, Sev has always had a draw into the creative world. She graduated from The School of Visual Arts in 2017 and is now living in New Jersery. After first seeing Sevs art, we fell in love and knew we had to incorporate her pieces as some of the first items in our PS Home Collection: Bungalow. She is both a painter and a ceramic artist, finding much of her inspiration for her work from nature. We got to chat with Sev about her journey to where she is now and some of the people + places that influence her work... in her words "Water is definitely my greatest muse and favorite place to be."
I started making ceramics back in November of 2020. I knew I would love working with clay because of my brief experience hand-building in high school and art school. I was an Illustration major so most of my classes were focused on painting and drawing. It wasn’t until a few years after I graduated that I sparked an interest in throwing on the wheel. So, I went to youtube and taught myself from there!
Pictured above: Palm Ceramic Cup by Made Out of Water
How did you choose your name Made out of Water and is there a story behind it?
I originally started an Instagram with the name Made Out Of Water as a way to share all of my ocean and surf photography from traveling and it evolved into a place for all of my art, from paintings to now ceramics. I chose the name based on the fact that the earth and people are made up of mostly water and how everything is connected and comes back to nature. Water is definitely my greatest muse and favorite place to be.
What materials do you mainly work with in both your paintings and your ceramics? How do you source them and how does sustainability play a role in your materials, packaging, etc?
I source all of my materials, from stoneware clay and glaze to paint and canvas, from local stores to avoid shipping. Art supplies in general can be quite unsustainable which is why I try to offset that with my own practices and always repurpose what I can. One tip I have is that it’s always better to buy the expensive paintbrushes or tools once, rather than having to replace the cheaper option every year or so. I’ve used the same paintbrushes for years and they are still going strong!
My packaging has always been eco-friendly because that is something that is important to me when I’m shopping so I want to make sure those same values and standards are present in my own business. My hope is that it inspires others to be more mindful of the unnecessary plastic they consume in their daily life. With all of my inspiration coming from the ocean and the earth it seemed like my responsibility to choose packaging that would not pollute it with more plastic waste. I buy my shipping supplies from a company called EcoEnclose and wrap all of my pieces in reused packing paper.
Pictured above: The Seashell Ceramic Cup by Made Out of Water // SHOP HERE
We would love to know a little more about your creative process. Do you find that your work and design method have a natural flow (i.e. trial and error) to them or do you tend to be more of a planner when it comes to creating new art / pieces?
When designing something new I usually draw out or write down my ideas as soon as they pop into my head. Once the idea or intention for the piece is set, my mind goes into a flow state and I just keep creating until I’m finished or I hit a road block. Ceramics can tend to be unpredictable so even if I try to plan them out something always changes along the way. I do a bit more planning for paintings. Before I begin a series I always choose the photos I am using for reference and the color palette ahead of time. Mixing colors is one of the best parts!
"Once the idea or intention for the piece is set, my mind goes into a flow state and I just keep creating until I’m finished or I hit a road block. Ceramics can tend to be unpredictable so even if I try to plan them out something always changes along the way."
My favorite painter has always been Claude Monet. His impressionistic brush strokes, color choices, and subject matter have definitely influenced my artistic style. Plus, his garden in France is so dreamy and I would love to visit there one day.
What about the ocean really draws you to it and are there any particular places that inspire you?
Like painting and making pottery, watching waves is a very meditative experience to me. It truly teaches me to go with the flow. I am the happiest and most relaxed when I’m by the ocean and I hope that same feeling is emulated in all of my work. There are a lot of places that inspire me but the ones that stand out the most are Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and Montauk. All of them are beautiful in different ways.
Like painting and making pottery, watching waves is a very meditative experience to me. It truly teaches me to go with the flow.
Do you have any projects in the works right now or any dream projects you hope to work on?
Currently I am working on my Fall ceramics collection and my largest painting commission so far! I recently made custom jars for a local herbalist and I would love to do more work in that realm. I also think making a custom set of mugs for a coffee shop would be super cool - maybe even have my own cafe filled with my ceramics and paintings :)
…. and we are dying to know, what is your favorite drink to put in your Made Out of Water ceramic cup?
Everything tastes better in a handmade mug and my favorite thing to drink at the moment is an iced matcha with oat milk!
Pictured above: Ceramic Seashell Dish // SHOP HERE