Ceramic artist and designer Lesley Anton gets her inspiration from many sources; the natural world, architecture, the human form, and machinery. Her lighting designs are a surprising and intriguing addition to any interior.
Anton’s bold, sculptural forms and lovely textural surfaces make a strong statement, yet they do not overpower. She tempers their exaggerated scale and silhouettes with quiet color palettes, in hues stolen from nature: snow, sky, mud, sand, algae. The high-fired clay finishes are made idiosyncratic with eucalyptus pods, lotus root slices, and other organic elements impressed into the clay that, she explains, “mess up” and sensualize what might otherwise be another hard-edged modern object.
Anton’s design approach might be termed “organic modern,” reaching back to the 1950’s, with a nod as well to Japanese minimalism. Her aesthetic plays on the serendipitous character of the high firing process where the beauty of the finished product is its intentional imperfection.
Are We Green?
Our Clay Studio
In our clay studio, we recycle and reuse as much as we can with very little waste. When we are making a lamp by hand, there is no clay waste. If I mess it up, I just re-wedge the clay and start over. The trimmings at the end of the process, go into the slip bucket, which is used for some of our slip decorated surfaces. If the lamps are being slip cast, the process used for our contract and hospitality orders, the slip is poured into the mold, then the excess is poured back into the bucket to use again. No waste there. We conserve water by filling up buckets that we use all week instead of running water that goes down the drain. When we glaze our lamps, the glaze is either applied by pouring or dipping, and the excess goes back into the bucket. We use a gas kiln for most of the glaze firing, which is the most energy efficient way of firing ceramics. We try to fill our kilns as full as possible so there is less wasted space and therefore, less wasted energy.
We have very little energy usage at our workshop. We have skylights with filtered glass so we never have to turn on the overhead lights. It keeps the place cool in the summer and keeps the bills low. Our workshop is in very close proximity to our clay studio, which is also my home, so I can ride my bike to work! How lucky is that in Los Angeles?
Most of the clay that we use is locally manufactured here in Los Angeles, and isn’t shipped across the country. The clay and glaze materials that we use are about as green as they can be since they come directly from the earth. Great care is taken to make sure that they return to the earth in a responsible way. The wood finishes are all OSHA approved water based finishes and stains, and have very low VOC’s. Our woodworker, finisher, and shade maker are all local artisans that live right here in Los Angeles. Lastly, for the finishing touch, the felt bags that our residential clients receive their lamps in, are made by my mom, Joy.
LA Regional Food Bank
A percentage of proceeds from functional table ware is donated to the LA Regional Food bank. For every $1 donated, $5 worth of food and products is distributed to the hungry. www.lafoodbank.org
A portion of all proceeds are donated to the Natural Resources Defense Council. We use some of our earth’s valuable natural resources, clay and wood, to produce our lighting. What better way to offset our carbon footprint than to support our nations most effective environmental action group? www.nrdc.org