FLOWE STATE features playlists by creatives in our community. For this month, ALMOST THERE is curated by ceramic artist Aly Kangleon.

FLOWE STATE is a series featuring curated playlists by creatives in our community. This month, we sat down with Aly Kangleon, A Philippines-based ceramic artist and instructor. She is known for her functional pieces that celebrate femininity, and sculptures that explore themes such as community, ecology, growth, and more.

In line with the launch of our new Artichoke towel colorway, Almost There is an ambient selection of songs that embody the feeling of infinite possibility. Progressing from jazz and smooth electronica, to upbeat hip-hop, these tracks are ideal for idle mornings and intimate dinners over wine.

Hi Aly! How are you? Can you tell us about yourself?

Hello! I’m a ceramic artist and instructor from the Philippines. Right now, I’m dyeing some shirts because all my clothes are too bright for bird-watching. My feelings and environment inform my days (and my work) so I always try to be around nature. It’s such a reliable source of joy and wonder for me.

We love your pseudonym, ‘Manibalang.’ Can you share the significance of this Filipino word to you?

During the height of my depression, I isolated myself from loved ones with the promise of returning to their lives when I’ve become ‘a full person’ again. I deeply identified with manibalang, which translates to the state of near ripeness, reaching toward fullness. Almost there, but not quite. Over years of therapy, I eventually realized that I’ve been a full person all along and that fullness in life is a concept that accommodates — even encourages — expansion. Once we leap from the edges that keep us, there are always more edges, always more life to live and to share. Now, manibalang to me is a reminder that we’re constantly becoming, never made.

Pottery, though meditative, involves a lot of waiting time. What do you usually do during these times?

I read, cook, catch up with friends, but mostly I take walks. I walk the same route in my area and it's incredibly humbling to witness the trees achieve stillness while persistently evolving. They bear flowers that turn to fruit that feed the birds, and the seeds are deposited in other areas where they take root and sprout into a new cycle. And every step is supported by other facets of nature — from the mycorrhizal networks that connect plant root systems, to the wind and animals that disperse seeds. Everything works so perfectly together for life to endure. I feel a sort of tenderness thinking about this, like being held or looked after. It’s the same feeling that goes into my work. I want my ceramics to be of service to people, to let them know I care about them.

How does music play a role in the work that you do, as well as getting you through the in-betweens of life?

I listen to a lot of music, though I tend to tune it out when I’m deep in thought, usually when I’m working. I think making ceramics allows me to metabolize the things I observe when I’m out and about. Sometimes the music I listen to inspires a memory that animates another memory, which pulls me into an ocean of thoughts. That’s how a lot of my days go. Everything always seems to be in conversation with one another.

How would you describe this playlist? What was the inspiration, and what would you want people to feel when they listen to it?

It's a progression that sinks in before propelling forward. I was chasing after the feeling of saturation, the kind that multiplies you into possibilites. I hope you feel transcendent and limitless listening to this. 

What would you wish to accomplish before you enter a season of complete ripeness?

Do we ever achieve complete ripeness? It seems like there's always another phase to enter, another edge to leap from. Even decomposition primes us toward birth. My only desire is to fully move through these liminal spaces, extracting sweetness where I can find it before it passes and I can look forward to it again.

Listen to Almost There on our Spotify page.