Hot from the kiln: the Saguaro lamp from Los Angeles designer Lesley Anton. The ceramic artist's latest light rises a stately 3 feet tall, the stoneware base sheathed in a cool speckled glaze. "In a wheel-thrown piece this size, there is a lot of stacking," Anton said. "When you get up close, you can tell it's handmade."
And that's the point: The artist's work often goes into modern homes "needing something handmade and irregular" to soften the hard edges of clean-lined spaces. One nice touch here: The bottom of the lamp is temporarily covered with wax before the glaze is poured, leaving a band of raw clay for an earthy touch.
For Anton, the lamp is a creative expression. For consumers, it's another sign of a rebounding industry. When the recession hit, Anton expanded her line to include less expensive dinnerware and decorative accessories. Now that more customers are redecorating, remodeling or moving into new houses, the artist once again is ramping up her lighting collection, which also includes her first glass piece, a pendant designed by her and hand-blown by a local artisan.
The lighting is sold through the trade-only Thomas Lavin showroom at the Pacific Design Center, but retail customers can buy Saguaro ($1,950) and the other new designs through the center's buying service for non-decorators. Call Thomas Lavin at (310) 278-2456 for ordering information; go to www.lesleyanton.com to see more of the work.