Caitlin Mociun has been a Brooklyn design fixture since graduating from RISD with a BFA in textile design. Her Bauhaus-inspired clothing collections put her on the map, but she's now focusing on modern jewelry design, as well as curating and selling other craft-based work from her storefront in Williamsburg. We spoke with Caitlin to get her picks for a holiday gifting, as well as some insight on why her designs are hard to knock off (a perennial issue we've covered here at Dwell).
Mociun's retail store is located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, at 224 Wythe Avenue.
The wares on display run the gamut from simple yet exquisite home goods, like these ceramic spoons, to rare perfumes and handmade jewelry.
"I was introduced to Pollner by Jamie Iacoli—they both live in Seattle and are good friends. We have this and a porcelain axe in the store. It's porcelain and every single one has a fortune that a psychic in Seattle wrote. I break one every time we get a box in the store!"
"They work in Greenpoint and what I like about their work is, more than most people around here, they experiment with new materials and use them in weird, nontraditional ways. For these coasters, they take a piece of wood and wrap resin-dipped mesh with pieces of rubber. They're not always the most high-end materials, but they're really beautiful. And the coasters in particular are little art objects but also functional."
"They're nice and very basic, but an alternative to really shitty 'basics' you can buy. I like them because they can be added into any ceramics collection." This slightly folded bowl is hand-thrown, and therefore unique, and finished in a matte oatmeal glaze.
"I like this as a pinky ring. It's really simple and classic but each piece of turquoise is different. I can't use that veined turquoise for smaller pieces; you can only see how nice the stone is in this larger format. The contrast between the large face and tiny band is a really nice combination."
"We have a few styles of Doug's work that he only makes for our store. My favorite one is the Depression basket. (And we still have a few pieces left from our collaboration, baskets done in a blue/gray gradation dye.) There aren't that many people making baskets; with his, the proportions are good and there's a handcrafted quality I really like."
"This is one of our bestselling things. I like Robert Blue's work because it's affordable but beautiful. The pink lines make the whole thing come together. And this is great for people who love a big cup of coffee. The pieces are also very sturdy—you can put them in the dishwasher or microwave. The line is designed well."
"This is a timeless design that will look fashionable ten years from now. My mom had a ton of turquoise growing up, and then I saw the old Victorian jewelry where they used gold and turquoise, then saw some Middle Eastern pieces that are stunning. Silver and turquoise doesn't really interest me. So I wasn't seeing people using turquoise with gold and diamonds other than in antique jewelry.
It's hard to knock off my work because of all the technical details—the stones are very small and unveined, so to get them cut is expensive. These factors mean I can keep doing my work the way that I want to. What I find with people copying others' work is that they're making it less expensive. But you can't go into a bead store and buy the turquoise I use; you'd have to know a jewelry cutter with access to the stones. I think (hope!) that time will elevate the people who make original work."