Stoneware Collection by Matt Merkel-Hess Debuts At IKO IKO

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Art and design blog You Have Been Here Sometime reminds us that the current state of craft in Los Angeles is still alive and well. Case in point – artist and ceramiscist Matt Merkel-Hess is debuting a new line of stoneware at Echo Park shop IKO IKO. The line of everyday pottery, dubbed MerkelWare, is launching this Saturday, June 18th, from 7-10pm.

The collection, called Spottieottiedopaliscious Dishes (try saying that three times fast), features hand-thrown, dot-patterned pottery beginning with a whiskey jugs and bowls in various sizes. The jugs retail for $85 while the bowls are $75. Merkel-Hess expects to expand the line with more offerings in the future. The collection replaces his now-defunct line, Futility, Ltd. And if firewater isn’t your poison, the whiskey jugs can also be used for olive oil, or water, or sake.

Merkel-Hess also has a thriving career as a sculptor, producing far less functional objects with ceramics and exhibiting at prominent galleries like ACME and MEIER FERRER. His sculpture of “container” vessels such as milk crates, trash cans and stand mixers underscore how everyday, utilitarian objects can be transformed into art.

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