He may be young, but potter Robert Siegel has already made a name for himself crafting beautiful and unfussy dinnerware sets, serving dishes and vases. Although his pieces feel modern, Siegel acutally studied in the birthplace of fine porcelain, Jingdezhen, China, before opening his own studio RS Handmade in downtown LA.
We're smitten with Robert's handthrown pieces that marry art, craft and utility beautifully. Plus, how cool is his "Handmade" tattoo?
1. Where do you currently live in CA and what's your favorite thing about how you've designed your personal space?
I currently reside and work in an old industrial building located in DTLA. What I like most about the space is that I have been able to break it up in a way that has allowed me the opportunity to be creative and make my work all the time, maintaining a true live/work space. In a dirty craft like ceramics, it can be very difficult.
2. What's your dream design project? Who would it be for (dead or alive)?
I would love to build: a Handmade Porcelain Army for any billionaire who would like to leave a legacy, like Qin Shi Huang the first Chinese Emperor; a scale porcelain rocket for NASA; or if she were still alive, design and make a very simple and elegant line of tableware in collaboration with Dame Lucie Rie.
3. In real life, what's your favorite project you've completed to date?
Recently my favorite project was in collaboration with artist Aaron Hawks on our Torn Collection. This is a much more sculptural body of work and was a lot of fun to create and work with other people.
4. You've been gifted a fabulously furnished dream home but can only bring one item from your current space. What would it be?
I would probably bring this Japanese sword that I bought in a little village when I was in China. It represents for me what good design is all about. It is finely hand crafted, it is functional and useful, and it is beautiful to look at.
5. What's your creative process when making art?
In the practice of everyday life, we identify issues that we want to explore further and express through a variety of media. With clay, there is so much one can do, but it also has many limitations. Once I identify the concepts that I am trying to convey, I begin to experiment with the material and see how I can use it in a new or contemporary way or in a different way than I have used in the past.
6. Where do you score your favorite interior design items? Any shopping tips for us?
Olde Good Things is a vintage furniture store down the street from where I live, it’s a little pricey but they have some really cool stuff.
7. Ever had an epic DIY or creative disaster? What project would you never dream of taking on yourself again?
No real DIY disasters to speak of, though I would say taking an order for 1,500 handmade mugs and thinking I could deliver them all in 8 weeks, working all by myself, is something I wouldn’t do again!
8. What trend, innovation, or new idea are you excited to integrate into your next project?
I really want to start 3-D Printing.
9. Lightening round! (pick one)
Beach or mountains?
Twitter or Facebook?
Architectural Digest or Wallpaper Magazine?
Should you spend money on a fabulous bathroom or kitchen?
Would you rather shop new or vintage? Vintage
Great view or perfect pool? Great view
SF or LA?
10. What's one tip you wish someone had told you when first starting out in the art world?
I wish someone had told me to be an interior designer instead of an artist!