Gary Steinborn: Art-Deco Ceramics

Gary Steinborn got his first potter's wheel as a gift from his mother when he was thirteen and proceeded to set up his first clay studio on the front porch of his family's California bungalow home. As a teenager he threw and sculpted clay by hand while "beautiful hip and intelligent local bohemians would come to visit, rock music played loud on the home stereo, and free love filled the atmosphere." (Those were the days!)

In 1979 he went to UCLA to study chemistry but soon changed his major to art, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Art and Master's Degree in Design.

"Growing up in Los Angeles I was exposed to a wild array of multi-cultural influences, art, music, and people. There are so many diverse things going on in Los Angeles from surf culture to the defense industry, from centers of technology to the center of Scientology. ... I am inspired by Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol, Frank Gehry, Marcel Duchamp, Jimi Hendrix, Hello Kitty, The Sixties, Peace and Love, Pop Art, Modern Art, Contemporary Design, Danish Modernism, Modern Modernism, Minimalism, Post Modernism, Ism Ism and Post-ism."

The Bella Vase line, which has been beautifying Terrestra's stores for well over a decade, reflects the influence of the American Arts and Crafts movement, especially Teco pottery, which dates from the early 20th century and is characterized by matte glazes and geometric forms.

Gary says, "This week I am obsessed by "The Shock of the New" and Nonny De La Pena's virtual reality journalism. Last week it was Albert Einstein and a French film director. Next week I plan to focus on world economics and linguistic theory. ... My goal is to produce ceramics that are well crafted, intelligent, and humorous—suitable for anything from modernist and craftsman style homes to personal Zen retreats. I hope the clay does the talking."

Browse and shop Gary Steinborn vases