San Diego Moms: Local Artist Finds Passion in Pottery

Pottery artist Juliana Cheng. Courtesy photo

It’s never too late to find a hobby — and San Marcos mom Juliana Cheng is the perfect example of that. Cheng is the owner of JOOLOO Pottery, an imaginative art venture that unites her passion for creativity and talent for details to forge pieces ranging from espresso cups to ring dishes. 

Cheng is gradually developing a following on social media and locally with her detailed and delicate artwork, but it actually wasn’t until three years ago — well into motherhood — that she discovered her glazing love for pottery. 

“When my son started school around three years ago, I ended up having much more time to myself again and wanted to find something for myself,” Cheng said. “I decided to take the leap and went to a [pottery] throwing class alone. It was honestly a bit scary to jump into something new after having been at home with our son for the past three years, but I loved it immediately.” 

One beginner’s class led to many other classes — to the point where Cheng often found herself in the studio to create more art pieces. Today, has her own business where she finds therapy in creating exclusive pieces for her clients.

“Pottery has given me an outlet to channel my creative energy and also give me a sense of self-assurance and accomplishment,” Cheng said. “I love that the possibilities are endless with what you can create.  I love that I can create something beautiful and functional at the same time.”

Cheng, who often takes commissioned requests, said her favorite pieces so far have been an egg ring dish and a mini toast vase. 

“They’re both very simple but they give me joy just from holding them and looking at them,” Cheng said. “Spending time and energy on a project and seeing the end result, whether good or bad, gives me a sense of gratification and challenges me to create more.” 

Aside from creating pieces for sale, Cheng has also begun teaching pottery classes to other budding artists — some of whom are as young as 4 years old. She said she finds joy witnessing the pride students feel when they complete their own artwork. 

“I still remember the first time I picked up my first completed pieces from the studio, and I remember thinking, ‘Wow, I made these?’” Cheng said. “I want that same feeling for my students.  I want to build their confidence that comes naturally from trying something new and creating something from beginning to end. I believe that the patience and confidence the whole process builds is priceless and carries over into other aspects of their lives.”

Cheng said she isn’t sure what’s next for her business, but she hopes to continue to expand her clientele and share her love for the arts. She also wants to develop her own talent. For now, she’s grateful to have found her passion for pottery and now shares it with her son when he’s home from school.

“My son, Aaron, is always excited when he gets to handbuild with me at home,” Cheng said. “He always tells me that he wants to learn pottery and throw on the wheel when he’s old enough, so I’m really looking forward to sharing my love of pottery with him more and more as he gets older.”  

Follow Juliana Cheng’s JOOLOO Pottery on Instagram. 


San Diego Moms is published on Saturdays. Have a story idea? Email [email protected] and follow her on Instagram at @hoawritessd.