“They’re like characters,” says ceramic artist Jeremy Anderson, examining a lively crew of lamps at his new studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Finished in 22-karat yellow gold, one appears dressed in a striped tunic with a matching hat. Another, in gleaming white gold, seems to sport a clay riff on a bearskin cap and a voluminous fringed skirt. The vaguely figurative pieces (each with a name like The Dancer, Star Warrior, and Twins) are all from his latest body of work, which will be officially unveiled with Gallery Fumi at the PAD London and Design Miami fairs.
Anderson, who cofounded the lighting brand Apparatus with Gabriel Hendifar, his now ex-husband, turned a lifelong pottery practice into his full-time gig after the couple amicably parted ways a few years ago. “Working with clay is kind of a lesson in life,” he muses. “You can’t get too attached to anything because something can always go wrong in the process.” Just the day before, he opened the kiln to discover that multiple pieces had fused together or collapsed. But from those failures come lessons and unexpected discoveries.
In Red Hook—where interior designer Casey Kenyon helped him update a sprawling warehouse into a studio and showroom—Anderson’s process unfolds. He starts at the wheel, throwing modular components that can be assembled into lamps and “dressed” in metallic lusters, bespoke beads, and hand-painted lines. Lately he’s been experimenting with pigmented stains that imbue the clay with color. He’s also trying out larger formats like floor lamps and chandeliers. In the front-of-house showroom, finished lights mix with Anderson’s ongoing series of vessels, whose finned shapes resemble mushrooms growing on a tree. Wabi-sabi in vibe, with a ceiling draped in linen, shoji-inspired doors, and rustic wood seating, the studio is a fitting backdrop for Anderson’s intuitive process. “There’s flexibility and freedom in the making,” he explains. “But ultimately all the pieces have to fit together.” jeremy-anderson.com —Hannah Martin