the major project
Famished but only halfway through dinner was when I found the makers of that special tableware under the category “inspired by nature” that I’d seen on the restaurant supply sites. I was deep in sumptuous Instagram fine dining photos following a hashtag to Pierre Gagnaire when I saw a photo of chefs in blue aprons receiving a special plate from an elder gentleman. ..hmm… There they are. Pordamsa. The makers of that sea urchin cup for caviar . The makers of lily pads and ice sheets and a long boat-shaped dish. All porcelain, NE of Barcelona.. It reminds me of my childhood: the Rosenthal dining set that my parents have based on the patterns of a sea urchin as well….translucent.. their website states that they’ve only recently marketed to restaurants.
Dazed, I look up from my nook under the red light and see that the misty sky is now mazerine. An owl has started calling. The heater clicks. The cat yawns. Up this dead-end road, there is no sound of even rural rush hour. There is no sound from the impassioned searching I make on my new secondhand i-phone. There is no reason to suspect that this is an achievable goal.
I think my work is on par with theirs. I think I have developed strong forms that can be reproduced well by industrial methods. Moreover, I think there is space for my forms in the nicer dining offerings: I’ve been looking. A few people are doing ovals, a few people are doing a harsh asymmetry. Pordamsa is doing fine specialty. I think I can offer warm lush. Eva Zeisel-ish friendly but classy tableware. I need to talk to some chefs and buyers for major retail. But right now in the studio, I am finalizing the forms that I will show them, and in two weeks I have another meeting with my friend Brett at Mudshark Studios. Lilith Rockett thinks I can do it. Brett is completely excited. We strategized where and how to start. I’m obsessed with the idea and have been for years. It will take some time but here we go! (cue Jane’s Addiction) Want to help? Tell me the restaurants in your city/ town that seems like a good match for my new work. It might be that more rarefied places have the budget and interest, but tell me your favorite places too- that mod but warm café that serves local seasonal foods and treats the staff well... please tell me- your knowledge is my secret weapon ..
OK!, back to the present moment. Woodfiring: two things about that. Next Friday is an opening to the very well received woodfire show at eutectic gallery. I will be there, if you’d like to come visit. The first opening was so jammed that Mandy joked that the next woodfire show should be called “Breaking the Fire Code”. The energy in the room turned Steve Sauer’s coiled piece into a digeridoo if you put your ear in it. And there will be more woodfiring in my very near future: Richard Brandt and I are leading a workshop-style firing of a small anagama at Mt Hood college this month using the decorative technique of gentle reduction cooling or what Simon Levin would call downfiring.
If you’d like to see the notable quantity of work that I will have from that firing, please come join me at my Open Studio on Mother’s Day weekend. I will teach class in the morning from 10 to 1 and immediately scurry home. So, come visit after 1.30 and stay for pickles and bbq dinner and maybe a little campfire and wine. Or come Sunday anytime. Directions and map on the contact page of my website. There are some very nice hikes around here, Gifford Pinchot is 40 minutes north, and some sweet waterfalls/ walking trails 10 and 20 minutes away.
It would be lovely to see you.