The LW Team took a field trip to the ceramics studio of Maximillian Rauber! Maximilian Rauber is a multi-disciplinary artist, who has combined his experience in painting and illustration with ceramics to create one-of-a-kind collections. He gave us the ultimate tour of his studio and we asked him some questions about how he creates his amazing works of art plus how he got here.  

Maximillian's Background 

Where did you go to school?

I went to the Savannah College of Art and Design where I was an illustration major.

Where are you from/ where did you grow up?

I was born in Berkeley, CA and lived in Sonoma till I was 4 years old. But grew up mostly in Denver, Colorado.

If not in california how long have you been here?

I moved back to California about 6 years ago after living in New York for 6 years.

How old are you?

I am 35. I was born on January 8, 1985.

Questions We Asked Maximillian 

What led you to start pursuing ceramics as a business? What was the path from school to where you are now?    
After school I moved home briefly to save money before setting out to live in New York. There, I worked whatever creative jobs I could find to get experience and pay rent so that I could work on my own paintings and drawings: I worked as a carpenter and scenic painter for window displays and events. I painted murals, made hand-painted wallpaper. But it wasn’t until the end of my time in New York that I discovered ceramics. I took a weekly class in Brooklyn with my wife and friend. After that, I was hooked but no longer had access to a wheel when the course ended. So I watched videos and tutorials obsessively to tide me over till I finally got my own wheel a couple years later. It wasn’t until having my own wheel, in my own space that I started to really progress and think that I could do this as a business. I loved the process and working with my hands, but it was my wife and friends that convinced me I should really give it a go. So it was unplanned but I’m not mad at it. I’m mostly in awe at the response and I’m grateful for all the support that I’ve received in the short time I’ve been doing it. 

Max wears the Honey Ranch Pants in his studio 

What things inspire your illustrations and designs?
I’m inspired by music, shapes and colors in nature and humor. While being a perfectionist that is obsessed with sharp lines and soft curves. 
We love how your pieces are so very unique and look like a Maximillian creation, how did you find your own personal style?
Thank you! It took years to develop my style. I remember being concerned about finding it in school as they would say how important it was to help distinguish yourself. Like most things, it’s through years of practice and patience. But I’d say the most crucial time for me was aimlessly drawing in sketchbooks after I graduated. I didn’t have any assignments or required direction so I had to pull things from my own imagination and create my own subject matter. This allowed me to go nuts and naturally find what became my style
What’re some of your favorite musicians and artists?
Frank Zappa, Iron Maiden, Grateful Dead, Tim Maia, Rufus w/ Chaka Khan, Modest Mouse, Fela Kuti and David Bowie are a few of my all time. As for visual artists, I’d say the ones who I was most inspired by in my youth were Salvador Dali, and Gustav Klimt.
What advice would you give your younger self?
What are you scared of?? Go get it!!
What’s the weirdest dream you’ve ever had?
Shoot I don’t know. I rarely remember them and the ones that I do are equally strange. Most days I work long hours so when I do go to sleep I dream that I’m still working in the studio haha.

Max in the Montana Painter Pant 

Do you believe in aliens? If so, why?
I believe that there are many things that we don’t know or understand yet, and that one of those many things has to be aliens
What’re your goals for your business in 2020?
Well Frank Zappa once said that the two most important things are honesty and craftsmanship. That really stuck with me and It’s what I strive for in my work. I’m obsessed with making things to the best of my ability. So this year I want to continue to push myself so that I can push the business forward. Demand has been high (still have to pinch myself) so I’d like to increase production but not at the expense of quality. I’m very precious with all the pieces that I work on and it’s important to me that people see that
What’s your favorite Lykke Wullf item and why?
I love the rainbow plaid set! My wife was obsessed so I got it for her for Xmas (Thanks Y’all!). I also love the safety orange ranch pant. If you guys make a unisex matching set of that then you can count me in!