As a Native Hawaiian, Nathan (Nakana) Makekau Jugoz is a cultural practitioner and staunch Aloha ‘Āina. He takes his pottery to the next level by imbuing his work with mana and plenty of Aloha. He was the first generation from his Hawaiian father’s side of the family to be born outside of their homeland of Hawaiʻi. His father, after graduating from Hilo High School, found the calling of his ancestors to become a traveler soon after joined the navy to sail around the world. This allowed Nakana to have a broad sense of the world and its various cultures. His mother, also a potter, helped him to find the beauty of handmade ceramics, giving Nakana a fascination and appreciation for functional pottery.
Drawing from his experiences gathered in Japanese pottery towns and tutelage under the master potters in the sleepy town of Ojai California, Nakana was able to develop a clean and elegant style of ceramics. Each stoneware piece is high-fired to reduction with glass glazes, giving them heirloom quality with long-lasting durability.
Nakana believes in reducing the footprint of single-use and disposable kitchenware to Honua (earth) and the ʻĀina by making high-quality, restaurant-style ceramics accessible and affordable. He hopes that every local family will one day own some of his work and pass them down through the generations as treasured heirlooms to be used for one of the many great traditions of Hawaiʻi Nei, sharing food with ʻohana and friends.
Nakana found his calling to return to the ʻĀina to care for land and resources and watch over his ʻiwi kupuna (bones of the ancestors). He now works on developing his off-grid and sustainable homestead on his ʻohana’s land and strives to live a lifestyle closer to that of his ancestors. Bringing sustainable and 100% eco-friendly pottery to each household allows him to practice these values and live a sovereign lifestyle. The ʻŌlelo noʻeau (Hawaiian proverb) that resonates most with Nakana’s lifestyle: “i ka wā ma mua, ka wā ma hope,” roughly translates to “in the future, there is the past”. Or as Nakana likes to say “our future should look more like our past.”