Stak Ceramics

 

Heather and Myles Geyman built a friendship, marriage, and business – in that order. Chances are you’ve seen Stak Ceramics‘ super functional slip cast ceramic pieces before, because they’re everywhere. (They’re also often ripped off, unfortunately.) Whether it’s the kitchen tablet dock, the sprout planter phone dock, or any number of other minimally beautiful creations made in their Pittsburgh studio, you can be sure that they’ll help you live well.

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OATMEAL

 

Elise Birnbaum is a maker, skill collector, coveter of interesting objects, and founder of Pittsburgh-based OATMEAL. She works predominantly with clay and metal, creating pieces for both body and home that are inspired by simple things and made in a narrow, often neutral, color palette. I’ve been following Elise, and the creations she often shares on Instagram, for some time now and very much appreciate the way she doesn’t depend on color to make her pieces standout. (One of those knot necklaces is definitely on my birthday wish list!)

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Spacapan

 

A few months ago I had the chance to hold one of Margaret Spacapan’s perfectly shaped half-dome bowls, she had to talk me into it because I can be a klutz and they looked so delicate. I marveled at how it felt in my hands and kept thinking about how a human had created this thing. All of Spacapan‘s sculptures and forms with function are completely without flaw and attract me like a crow to something shiny. But for the time being I’ll just have to settle for the hope of someday owning one of her bowls.

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Reiko Yamamoto

 

Reiko Yamamoto is a modern ceramicist combining her skill in creating versatile, functional pottery with her experiences growing up in Japan. Eating meals meant a collection of handmade pottery rather than a matching set – a completely foreign concept – and Reiko has brought that approach to her Pittsburgh studio by creating pieces of various sizes, colors, shapes, and patterns that all work together harmoniously. The jewelry she creates has the same organic feel and presence, with a weight that feels substantial but not heavy.

Shop Reiko Yamamoto’s work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hitomi Hosono

 

Hitomi Hosono‘s ceramics are rooted in both Japanese and European traditions, as she’s studied in Japan, the UK, and Denmark. (Whoa!) The super detailed foliage in Hosono’s current work sucks the viewer right in. And if you’re like me, at some point you’ll forget that what you’re examining isn’t the real thing.

“The subjects of my current porcelain work are shapes inspired by leaves and flowers. I study botanical forms in the garden. I find myself drawn to the intricacy of plants, examining the veins of a leaf, how its edges are shaped, the layering of a flower’s petals. I look, I touch, I draw.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Stefanie Herr / The Growth Imperative

 

I’ve learned more about politics in the past year than the previous 35 combined, and part of that has been about the economy which has impacted me in a very real way. Stefanie Herr’s The Growth Imperative uses six photographic relief sculptures to explore stock charts over a period of six years. Each piece is crafted by hand using pigment print on Hahnemühle photo rag, museum matboard, aluminium, and other materials.

 

“The Growth Imperative explores the spatial dimension of stock charts by translating their peaks and valleys into physical coordinates. Inspired by the neoliberal fantasy of infinite economic growth on a finite planet, The Growth Imperative maps the performance of the S&P 500 Pure Growth Index over a six-years period between 2009 and 2015 and transposes it into six sculptural objects covered with photographs of forests.

The forest is the place where growth is inevitable and vegetation luxuriates. It is a multidimensional space that expands both horizontally and vertically and devours everything within its boundaries. Exposed to the erratic and uncontrollable behaviour of the stock market, each photograph is stretched, distorted and finally broken into 440 triangular facets. Thus, The Growth Imperative seeks to unmask the self-destructive nature of neoliberal capitalism and its central role in causing serious environmental, social and territorial imbalances.

Entirely crafted by hand, each piece of the series took about two months to complete. In a world subject to the vagaries of global capitalist economy, the market constitutes the main creative force behind it and consequently becomes its true sculptor.”

 

 

 

 

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Amy Hamley Ceramics

 

I first shared the work of my friend Amy Hamley – then Redraven Studios – with you two years ago, in our Pittsburgh Makers series. Since then she’s moved across the country with her husband and pup, rebranded as Amy Hamley Ceramics, and just last week released her newest collection. This girl’s been busy!

 

 

I chatted with Amy a few weeks ago, and after catching up picked her brain about the transition between her well-known Canyon Series to this more casually sophisticated style.

“While the Canyon Series meant a great deal to me personally, and building a product line around my travels was magical, it just never completely fit. I spent two years thinking about letting this line go and how to move forward with my work, it wasn’t an easy decision at first but once I committed to it everything just felt right. I studied both painting and ceramics in college, and for a long time it was important to me to honor both processes. But one day I realized that making the pieces wasn’t fulfilling me anymore and it began to feel like work. I wanted to focus on the part of ceramics that I love, experimenting with the materials and developing glazes.”

 

 

 

“The starting point wasn’t an item, so much as the palette. I really wanted to focus on minimal, soothing tones with this collection. My favorite pieces are the black deco dinnerware.”

 

 

 

“The inspiration behind the new work isn’t that far from the Canyon Series, it’s still traveling, nature, and being witness to my surroundings. With this line however, I wanted to be true to what I love and actually use in my home. I knew that this collection was special because it’s the first time that I’ve ever kept the first editions for myself, until recently I had very little of my own work at home.”

 

 

 

The new collection is stunning, with so much thought and effort put into each piece. I’ve always loved Amy‘s work, but this collection really speaks to my love of all things clean-lined. The gold deco touches make every piece so incredibly special – the perfect mix of casual and elegant. I’d be thrilled to use the settings for a dinner party or simply a Monday night meal on the couch, which is a sign of a truly fantastic piece.

 

 

A unique facet of the new site and rebrand is the One of a Kind page, dedicated to one off pieces, experimentation, and growth. Amy hopes to add an item or two per week that will be promoted Tuesdays on Instagram – stay tuned!

Carolyn Kelly, art direction
Janelle Bendycki, photography
Gorgeous and Green, florals

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Elyse Graham / Black Magic Collection Resin Vessels

 

Elyse Graham‘s Black Magic Collection is full of the most beautiful resin pieces that I’m dying to fill with droopy blooms. The point of the collection is to explore what lies underneath the surface, that which cannot be seen but is always present. Each vessel is one-of-a-kind and probably far too expensive to use as a vase, but wow.

 

 

 

 

 

via Design Milk

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Sophie Smallhorn

 

They say the happiest people work in an industry doing something similar to what they loved doing as a child. I’d say Sophie Smallhorn is living life to the fullest through her explorations of the relationships between color, volume, and proportion. Her portfolio site doesn’t state what materials are used, but I’d like to think they’re children’s blocks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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