Amelia’s Magazine | An Interview with Moko Sellars, Founder of Design Studio Moko


Based in East London, Moko is a Design Studio with a passion for form. Set up by Moko Sellars in 2012, Moko burst onto the design scene with the launch of Ceramiko, a slip-cast ceramic stool produced in Stoke-on-Trent. This was closely followed by a range of bone china rings (to give your fingers a bit of pizzazz). Looking through her portfolio, you can see a strong focus on space and a passion for design. The simplicity of her pieces reminds me that it’s simple, well executed ideas that have the most impact. This is shown by her chopstick drumsticks and prototype book-shaped book light.


Moko’s pieces are always unique, and nourished by a fanatical passion for product design and antiques, she creates ‘simple, contemporary products with a nod towards the familiar’. Made to be cherished, her work puts an individual slant onto traditional homeware and accessories; resulting in neat little ‘inventions’ that you will treasure forever. More than just products, her work represents a study of how people interact with the world around them, and this influences their design. Simple but beautiful, these minimalist products are all handmade, which only adds to their appeal. I spoke to founder Moko Sellars about notebooks, furniture and unexpected paperwork.



You set up Moko in 2012, is there anything you wish you’d known when you started out?
There’s more admin to do than you’d think!

Where do you get your inspiration?
It can come from the past, maybe an object from the past or how they used to do things ‘back in the day’. I love looking around antique markets and I tend to buy vintage clothes and old furniture. Also by watching people! I find that the best ideas come to you when you’re not trying. You see someone doing something and it just clicks and you’re like “bingo”, I’ve got a product!


Have you always had a strong interest in design?
I always liked making things: cards, clothes, bags etc. I remember when I was young, when something broke, I would take it apart and try and work out what happened to it and how to fix it. Sometimes successfully, sometimes I’d break it even more.

How did you develop such as strong knowledge of materials?
I studied Furniture and Product Design then worked as a Packaging/ Product Designer for few years, so I had the chance to work with different materials. My favourite materials to work with are ceramics and paper.


Books appear a lot in your work, are you a big reader?
I do love books, but I think more their form rather than the contents! I love notebooks, I have about twenty on the go at the moment! I actually have a notebook design coming out next month which I designed for a company called Suck UK.


You’re also an illustrator, do you feel your drawing is a vital part of developing your ideas?
My illustrations are just for fun really, I find mocking things up in three dimensions (usually in paper) more important and enjoyable than sketching.


You design both packaging and products; do you feel the two are inextricably linked?
I think so. I’m really passionate about packaging design and how it can make or break a product. I sometimes spend double the amount of money on things just because they have nicer packaging!

Your work is very conceptual, is it important to you that your products are more than just functional objects?
Definitely! Function is very important, but I think concept is as important, if not more.


Do you have any favourites among your pieces?
I love all my designs equally. BUT the new Bone China ‘Diamond’ Ring Collection is the first design that people can wear on them for others to see, which is very exciting.

What’s your own most cherished piece of furniture?
It would have to be my ceramic stool. It took a while to get it made but I’m very happy with the result and I think it’s very cute.


What are your plans for the future?
I would like to design some more jewellery pieces, whether it will be a whole new collection or just a few select pieces; you’ll have to wait and see! I also love food so it would be fun to do some food related projects!

You can see more of Moko‘s work at


The beautiful photos (which remind me of craft mag Mollie Makes) are by Wang Wei & Moko.

Categories ,Antiques, ,Bone China, ,ceramic stool, ,Furniture, ,Graphic Design, ,handmade, ,illustration, ,jewellery, ,Moko, ,packaging design, ,slip cast, ,Suck UK

Similar Posts:

Amelia’s Magazine | Reports of Snow: an interview with Abe Davies of Reichenbach Falls

Reichenbach Falls_Reports of Snow album_cover

Reports of Snow is the new album by Reichenbach Falls, a collective headed up by singer songwriter Abe Davies, and based out of Oxford, that ever burgeoning hub of musical creativity. The album is chock full of mellow tunes with a tinge of Americana, perfect for those long winter evenings…

Reichenbach Falls portrait

How would you describe the sound of Reports of Snow?
Reports of Snow started out as a solo acoustic record – it was going to be just me and my guitar, with maybe a little keyboard and piano, that kind of thing. But as we worked on the songs we kept thinking ‘this should be an acoustic song, for sure, but maybe with electric guitars, drums, bass, piano‘ … so not really an acoustic song at all! So once we’d decided to let the songs go wherever they wanted to go, we worked on the basis that there should be a sort of approach tying them together, to make sure it remained an album rather than just a collection of songs – every one should have the heart of a fairly simple folk song, and the listener should be able to hear that, but that from there one might go in a pop direction, another in a rock, another in a more arty direction and so on. Which is I guess a long-winded way of saying: I’d describe it as ‘experimental folk-pop-rock‘!

Reichenbach Falls by Amberin Huq

Reichenbach Falls by Amberin Huq. ‘I found whilst listening to the Reichenbach album I was reminded to cold winter mornings by the sea and absence so it was just about finding an image that reflected that feeling I had. I wanted to create something that could be quietly beautiful and quite sparse to accompany the music.’

What are the lingering themes of the album and what inspired them?
Well, I guess the lingering theme would be lost love or something like that. It’s kind of a break-up album, and though a couple of the songs are a little older (written when I was living in St Andrews in Scotland) the vast majority were written over a couple of months after moving to Oxford a couple of years ago. So whereas I think the next record will be a little more wide-ranging in terms of subject-matter, this one’s pretty single-minded. I guess every songwriter has to get a break-up album out of their system every few years, and this is ours. 

Reichenbach Falls by Emma Russell

Reichenbach Falls by Emma Russell. ‘Reichenbach Falls have an outdoorsy, Americana feel that I wanted to echo. Listening to Risky, I liked the idea of escape and the image of the Southern Cross shining.

Where are you from originally and how did you end up here?
My parents came over here from Canada for my dad to train as an actor, so weirdly enough I was born in Wales. But all our family was in Canada still, and after a few years my dad moved back, so we were always back and forth and I lived in Calgary, near the Rocky Mountains, for a while when my dad lived there too. Then I lived in Spain for six months, Norwich, Scotland for a while, now Oxford for the foreseeable … so kind of all round! I consider myself 40% English, 40% Canadian and 20% somewhere in the Atlantic, maybe a little south for warmth. 

Reichenbach Falls by Kimberly Ellen Hall

Reichenbach Falls by Kimberly Ellen Hall.

How does the ‘rotating membership’ of the band work in practice?
The rotating membership is a pain! It’s allowed us to make an album that I’m really proud of, and that I couldn’t possibly have made without the generosity and skill of all these people, but everything takes forever and is a nightmare to organise. On the other hand, I’m super lucky with the talented friends I’ve made over the last couple of years and also with the fact that to play live I don’t necessarily need anybody but me. I’m kind of at the point where if I want to do a show I’ll agree to do it solo, and then if there’s the possibility to add components I’ll see if I want to and then make some calls to if it’s going to work schedule-wise. So having that solo option takes a lot of stress out of the rotating membership. Sorry, are these answers going on forever?? I feel like they are …

Reichenbach Falls tarot shop

Is that Joe Bennett, founder of Truck Festival who you are collaborating with? how did that come about? He gets everywhere!
That is indeed Joe Bennett of Truck fame. And it came about because he’s a friend of mine and does get everywhere … He’s also an incredibly talented and fun guy who lives to play music, so that doesn’t hurt either! He’s a great guy to have around – I ended up playing Y Not Festival with Co-pilgrim, a band that he’s in, and so he joined me for a few songs. That was cool, and I’m sure won’t be the last time. 

Where was the video for Risky shot? it looks suitably depressing and grey…
That was shot in a single take in Jericho in North Oxford – coincidentally, only a few hundred yards from the studio where we made a lot of the album. It was in February, I think, so you get that washed-out light that’s beautiful but sort of sad. Ben Johnston, who conceived and directed it, is also pretty nifty with getting the look just right in post-production – there’s a video for the song Stay Home, Elizabeth that he’s in the process of making with an amazing actress from here in Oxford which is going to be really beautiful, too, I think. I’m really looking forward to seeing it myself!

Who was the dancer and what was her brief, and who is polishing the gun and where did you acquire that from?!!! Looks real…
Actually, the dancer is Breeze Murdoch, a great friend of mine who I met through her husband, Michael de Albuquerque, who co-produced, engineered and mixed the album – and that’s him with the gun at the end, which I think is actually a very realistic, powerful air-rifle. As far as I remember, her brief was to make it feel as if it were a little ‘risky’ just being outside, with all these strange, pretty, dangerous things happening. But she’s both a musician and a professional dancer, so the kind of person to whom you don’t really have to spend a lot of time explaining these things. 

Reports of Snow by Reichenbach Falls is released on 2nd December 2013 through Observatory Records.

Categories ,Abe Davies, ,album, ,Amberin Huq, ,Ben Johnston, ,Breeze Murdoch, ,Calgary, ,canada, ,Co-pilgrim, ,Cornershop, ,Elizabeth, ,Emma Russell, ,Goldrush, ,interview, ,Joe Bennett, ,Kimberly Ellen Hall, ,Little Fish, ,Michael de Albuquerque, ,Observatory Records, ,Oxford, ,Reichenbach Falls, ,Reports of Snow, ,Risky, ,Stay Home, ,Truck Festival, ,Viarosa, ,wales, ,Y Not Festival

Similar Posts: