I just spent the afternoon researching California 1970's craft at the downtown Los Angeles library for a project. I was devouring the old catalogs from the Pasadena Art Museum, ones like these, and I was quietly wondering to myself about the current state of craft here in Los Angeles. Is it alive? How does it compare to the 1970's? These books were filled with textiles, ceramics, furniture, dishes, sculpture, smiling faces & everything else under the California sun.
Skip to 2 hours later, I receive an email from Kristin and Shin at IKO IKO about their latest show, and it reminds me how craft is definitely alive and (hopefully) prospering here in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles artist Matt Merkel-Hess is launching his new line of functional everyday pottery called MerkelWare at IKO IKO. The last piece I bought from him is one of my favorite ceramic works in my home. Matt's work continues to be show all over Los Angeles, at ACME Gallery, MEIER FERRER, and IKO IKO. Saturday, June 18 7-10 pm.
"IKO IKO is pleased to present Spottieottiedopaliscious Dishes, a new collection of stoneware from MerkelWare. The collection marks the official launch of MerkelWare; a line of functional, everyday pottery made by LA-based artist Matt Merkel-Hess. This grouping of domestic vessels devoted to eating and drinking is an extension of the first MerkelWare offering, a stoneware whiskey jug.
The MerkelWare whiskey jug serves as a point of departure for this larger collection and demonstrates Merkel-Hess interest in classic ceramic forms and techniques, pointing specifically to 19th-century American stoneware forms combined with glazes and finishes particular to West Coast ceramics (a style noted for its sampling and remixing of East Asian pottery).
Spottieottiedopaliscious Dishes includes a grouping of wheel-thrown bowls, vases, and jugs with a repetitive dot-patterned surface treatment and is available in a limited selection of colors exclusively at IKO IKO."