The Designer Making Surprisingly Humanoid Sculptural Ceramics

When the designer Jeremy Anderson, 44, was a child rising up in suburban Minneapolis, his favourite toys have been paper dolls, although he hardly ever performed with them. “It wasn’t something little boys did,” he remembers. “It was this secret thing I loved.” Decades later, Anderson traces a hyperlink between that furtive curiosity and his heretofore behind-the-scenes ceramics observe, throwing chubby anthropomorphic vessels that he “dresses up” with hand-painted stripes and raised ridges that bend and vibrate to trippy impact.

If you’re acquainted with Anderson, it’s possible because of his extra public-facing function because the co-founder of Apparatus, the modernist lighting and design studio he opened together with his husband, Gabriel Hendifar, in 2012. From the beginning, Hendifar has been the agency’s inventive director. In the early days, Anderson, regardless of a background in public relations, was its maker, spending time perfecting metallic patinas and leather-based detailing. But because the studio grew, so did its administrative wants, taking him away from working together with his fingers. In his off-hours, although, he started to speculate extra in his pottery observe, a inventive outlet since he was in highschool, and for the previous a number of years has spent most weekends within the ceramics studio he and Hendifar constructed within the yard of their Rhinebeck, N.Y., nation home.

Now, with Apparatus effectively established — it at the moment has greater than 70 workers — Anderson will concentrate on his solo work. He’ll mark the shift this month with an exhibition of his ceramics on the agency’s Manhattan showroom. “I feel a deep connection to Apparatus,” he says, “but having this little thing that’s mine is really special.” Still, he acknowledges, his designs “live in the same world” as these of his husband: While researching an Apparatus assortment a pair years in the past, Hendifar handed alongside inspiration photographs, together with a group of the photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher’s taxonomic pictures of water towers. Their stout silhouettes, familiar from Anderson’s Midwestern childhood, became a point of departure for him, too, as did the Bechers’ ability to imbue inanimate objects with personality. Anderson’s porcelain and stoneware vessels — each with a mouthlike hole that makes them functional as vases — are distinctly humanoid; grouped together, they resemble a tribe of chic aliens clad in Ziggy Stardust onesies. Anderson calls them piccolos, the Italian word for “small,” a bittersweet nod to the nickname given to him in his early 20s by a lover who died in a car accident.

It’s also poignant that in his minimally decorated upstate studio, Anderson’s potter’s wheel looks out onto the woods where he keeps a graveyard of piccolos that perished in the firing process. “Working with clay, it’s inevitable,” he observes. “It’s a life lesson. It really gets you thinking about attachment, and about letting go.”

Balloon artist: Gabby Tjahyadikarta. Photo assistant: Fumi Sugino. Styling assistant: Alvin Manalo.

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