A lifelong ceramicist with a penchant for elegant, trippy shapes, Jonathan Entler's line of decorative lighting is an exercise in organic modernism. Each piece in his collection is hand made in his studio in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. We talked to Jonathan about how he got his start with ceramics and what's next on his agenda.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I grew up in the suburbs east of LA. My dad is an extraordinary woodworker and I spent a lot of time tagging along to his various workshops and installs. I was always surrounded by tools and materials and the idea that you can make anything you can think of.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
Organic, elegant, and a little psychedelic.
How did you get into ceramics?
As a small child I spent many happy hours with modeling clay, encouraged by my mother because it kept me occupied while she worked on her projects. Later, in fifth grade, my teacher had slip casting in the classroom, and I became fascinated with the idea of reflecting three dimensional objects by using a mold. I eventually became interested in design in my teens when we discovered that thrift stores were full of these amazing treasures from the earlier eras of the 20th century. His mom bought a kiln to use for her china painting hobby and I immediately made arrangements with her to use it. Within a few months I had bought my own tired old beater for $75 and had no idea what I was doing but it worked and I've been making stuff ever since.
When you design, are you designing with a specific person or space in mind? Where do you envision your table lamps going?
Lately I've collaborating with other designers, reconfiguring the lamps for the specific spaces they are destined for.
What do you think about the resurgence of ceramics lately?
I think it represents a need to directly reconnect with the simplicity of natural materials and more primitive methods of production, as a response to spending a lot of time with screens and having little connection to the objects around us and where they come from.
What’s next? Are there any new materials and mediums that you want to start working with?
I'm working on new ideas for larger ceramic pieces, assembled from cast parts. More on that soon.