MOkun is a San Francisco textiles company founded by artist and maker Moriah Okun, that creates made-to-order rope baskets, planters, trays, sculptural vessels and more. Each piece is coiled and stitched by Moriah on a sewing machine using rope (often hand-dyed), thread and various other cords and natural fibers. The resulting forms are flexible and sturdy, playful and sophisticated, sculptural, and functional – all with a handmade quality uniquely MOkun.
My studio is in the Mission District, in a building comprised entirely of studio spaces for artists and other creatives. It has wonderful light and overlooks the SFMTA bus lot with Potrero Hill behind which, oddly enough, is a beautiful view.
I make every piece myself – made-to-order – and no two pieces are the same. In addition to my core collection, I am always making limited edition colorways, often using rope I hand-dye in small batches. I also create one-of-a-kind pieces that are shared on the website and at local markets.
I essentially use the traditional coiled basket technique but, instead of coiling by hand, I coil and stitch the forms using the zig zag stitch on a sewing machine. My industrial Bernina sewing machine works for thicker cord and larger pieces, but I have an affinity towards my regular Singer home sewing machine. It feels less precious, so I’ve taken it apart and gotten rid of pieces that get in my way, and as a result I have a lot more freedom to experiment with different shapes and sizes.
MOkun baskets are primarily made of natural cords and fibers, except for some man-made threads and polyester/cotton rope combos. I am especially drawn to natural fibers, because of the variety of textures and response to dye. In my one-of-a-kind pieces, you might find some combination of cotton rope, organic jute, wool roving, and linen lace yarn. The differing textures and colors are what really make MOkun baskets special.