Cranbrook grads and recent California transplants Marie Perrin-McGraw and Robert Turek have developed a new collection of ceramics that will seem fresh to even the most devoted attendees of L.A.'s artisan pop-up markets and "maker" fairs.
The eye-grabbers of the Lustered Walnut line are ceramic mugs with handholds shaped like bananas or cross-handle faucets, but what drew our attention were more delicate pieces made with a slipcasting process that lends a rougher, more handmade finish. Pieces include faceted cups that almost look like chiseled bleached wood; handwritten in pencil is "His," "Hers, "Yours" or "Mine," the lettering baked into the ceramic so it won't wash off.
We picked up a cup (to be used as a vase) with Turek's herringbone pencil pattern, the hand-drawn artwork wrapping around a super-thin ceramic cylinder that seems at once fragile and tough, refined and rough -- an effect heightened by the combination of glossy glazed and matte finishes.
Some customers assume that the slipcast production must be easier than hand-thrown pottery because molds are involved, but the slender vessel walls translate to a fair amount of breakage in production. "It's not easier," Turek said, smiling. "It's harder."
The couple work out of a studio near Temecula and sell their designs through their Lustered Walnut shop on Etsy.
Our march toward Christmas continues. Check back daily for a blitz of final Handmade Holidays gift picks.
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