Wednesday Indie Artist Fixx wth Diem Chau

wednesday indie artist fixx interview

I am honestly in love with the work of artist Diem Chau. Diem somehow embroiders images (mostly figures) onto recycled ceramic dishes. I don’t know how she does it, but it’s just gorgeous. Besides, I don’t need to know how she does it, that might destroy the beauty of it for me.

You can learn more about Diem on her website and on her blog. But read my interview with her for the  Wednesday Indie Artist Fixx first.

embroidered porcelain plate from artist diem chau

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your work.

I’m Chinese/Vietnamese–my family immigrated to the US in 1986. If I hadn’t become an artist, I would have probably become a botanist. I like to work with normal everyday objects and techniques.

2. Share some of your inspirations in your art and life.

I’m inspired by everything that I see. Sometimes, it’s as simple as a scrap of fabric with a cool pattern on it. I try not to be so preoccupied all the time. I find that the best ideas/projects come to me when I’m just playing around. When I overstress on a project is when it doesn’t work out.

embroidered porcelain plate from artist diem chau

3. Who are 3 of your favorite artists of all times?

Oh, that’s a hard one! I really like Tom Friedman’s work. I love his use of simple materials and meditative process. It’s the kind of work that just makes you pause for a moment. I also love Ellen Gallagher’s work. I’m drawn to her repetition and aesthetics. I also like how she deals with the subject of identity. I think she has very bold and beautiful imagery. Lastly, I would say Markus Raetz… I remember the first time I saw his work, just a few simple eucalyptus leaves that rendered a smiling person. Then, in the next picture the leaf that made the mouth was turned upside down and it made a frowning person. It was the simplicity that caught me. I also love seeing the progression of his work from 2D to 3D. He works a lot with optical illusions, it boggles my mind. For example. You’re seeing one of his sculpture in front of a mirror. Both the bunny and the man in the hat are the same.

4. What’s your creative process like?

There’s a lot of playing around. Most of the time I don’t really “do” anything. I stare into space, fiddle with my stuff… make a sandwich. I experiment with little bit of everything and once in a while something sticks.

embroidered porcelain tea cup from artist diem chau

5. What blogs and mags do you like to read?

At the moment I subscribe to Dwell & Wired. I used to read a lot more magazines, but after downsizing, a couple of times, I just don’t have the space to keep mags around. I tend to read a lot of stuff online. Although I have to give a shout out to Readymade & Make.

Online-wise I like:
My Milk Toof, The Sartorialist, Bent ObjectsDesign*sponge, notcot, fecalface, I tend to gravitate towards DIY or eye candy stuff that makes me chuckle.

6. What do you LOVE about what you do?

I love that I can work from anywhere. I don’t need a lot of space or equipment for what I do. Most of my supplies can fit into a shoe box! I also love that I get to go thrifting for my plates and cups. Thrift stores are very interesting places.

7. What do you not some much love about what you do?

I don’t like having to sit in one place, which is what I have to do when I work. It’s hard on my eyes and back. I tend to hunch over to get closer to the work surface. I get headaches and backaches if I sit and work for too long. I usually try and take a break every 30-45 mins.

8. Share something silly about yourself.

I collect Blythe dolls. They have huge heads with eyes that change colors when you pull their string. It’s been a hobby of mine since 2002. I have around 20 of them. It’s a bad habit!

9. What’s new or in works?

I’m taking a small break at the moment. We just bought a fixer home and there’s a lot to do. I’m also planning on building a backyard studio. They’re personal projects, but they’ll take up a lot of my time over the next year or so. I’ve been working from my dinner table for almost 6 years now and I need a dedicated space.


  1. stunning work. so glad you featured her. the crayon carvings on her site are lovely as well.

  2. Absolutely wonderful! I am still trying to figure out how one embroiders on porcelain! Very creative, and I love the cleanness of the pieces.

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