When one pictures Los Angeles, a distinct visual lexicon comes into focus: sun-bleached colors, rolling ocean waves, hazy beachside twilight. Our latest offerings from Mia Herron Kantor of Pax Ceramics manage to capture these distinctly Angeleno vibes through a Golden Hour color palette, softly rolling curves, and etherial air-brushed glazing reminiscent of a Venice Beach sunset.
Don't let the sunshiney nature of these pieces fool you, though: they mean business. As you'll read below, while they were designed to bring visual balance and peace, they are also built to be useful. You may initially buy these these mugs, vases, and cups for their shelf-appeal, but will find that the handmade objects stand up to the strains of everyday use.
We're so thrilled to welcome Mia and her pieces into the Consort family, that we're throwing a little bash. Keep reading below for some background intel on the artist and her process, and then come say hello to her at Consort LA on March 29th, from 6-8pm.
Consort: How did you get started in art?
Mia: My parents put me in art classes at a very young age, and I remember taking one-on-one lessons in drawing at around age 10.
C: Why did you choose your medium?
M: Making things with clay is unique in that you can affect the process from beginning to end, and end up with something that has the potential to be useful for a very long time, while also being artful.
C: What is the most challenging part about working with your medium?
M: Making choices. There are so many directions to take ceramics, whether in deciding on a clay body, glaze application method, glaze formulation, firing environment, etc. You can go really deep in any particular area, and with limited time, you have to make choices.
C: What is your creative process like?
M: Lots of ebbing and flowing. Sketching, wheel throwing, thinking about an idea for days, weeks or years before I actually create something in the realm of what I imagine.
M: I can't say it really has. I'm a big fan of simple, useful, a little quirky.
C: What do you believe is a key element in creating a good composition?
M: Balance, where you feel a small sense of peace while observing an object.
C: Who are some of the people or what are some time periods that influence your work? Are you attempting to recreate the past in your work, energize the future, or both?
M: There were a ton of incredible ceramicists in California during the mid century modern boom. I take a lot of inspiration from the likes of Edith Heath, Joe Lovera, Beatrice Wood, Marguerite Friedlaender, etc. Also constantly referencing Josef Albers as I conceive of new glaze schemes.
C: What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
M: Spending time outside on hikes and at the beach with my family. Trying to take in as much art and culture, we're so lucky to live in LA during this time.
C: What projects are you working on right now?
M: Incubating a baby boy due in June.
C: What is your dream project?
M: Apprenticing with a master Japanese ceramicist like Takashi Nakazato. I have so much to still learn!
C: What food, drink, song inspires you?
M: Food: scrambled eggs and fresh baked bread first thing in the morning (usually before 7am because my toddler son is a very early riser). Drink: my daily cappuccino.
C: What is your first memory?
C: What is the First Piece you Sold?
M: I can't remember.
C: What can you first remember really wanting?
M: Buying cassette tapes, maybe MC Hammer, definitely Nirvana.
C: When was your first kiss?
M: Spin the bottle, 8th grade.
C: What was your first car?
M: Saab 900
C: What was your last phone call?
C: What was your last meal?
M: Kato, delightful new restaurant on Santa Monica Blvd.
C: When was the last time you were drunk?
M: Another lifetime, i.e. before becoming pregnant last September.
C: What was the last emoji you used?
M: The salad emoji, hah.
C: When was your last vacation?
M: February, visit to hometown of Boulder, Colorado.
Photos by Katrina Dickson