Lesley Anton's Ceramic Muses

written by:
May 9, 2011

Citing inspirations ranging from the rocks of Joshua Tree to sand dunes, bamboo and her grandmother’s milk-glass hobnail bottles, Los Angeles-based ceramist Lesley Anton began her craft with clay classes at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. She worked out of her garage and backyard in Los Angeles for nine years before moving into a studio with a storefront in which she displays her functional work, consisting of bowls, mugs and utensil vessels.

Anton is inspired by ceramists Beatrice Wood “for her creativity and flat out ballsiness,” Adam Silverman “for his peaceful, minimal profiles with the most vibrant and tactile glazes,” and Otto and Vivika Heino “for their tenacity and dedication to the process.” Anton, who can be found nearly every day at the wheel in her studio, hopes that her work occupies its own space within the milieu of California pottery. “The legacy of clay in California is huge, but I feel like since my work dabbles in both the design world as well as the craft world, I hope that it transcends both, to be able to stand the test of time.” Her lamps are sold to the trade through six showrooms across the country. Click here for a complete list.

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  Anton at her studio, with her wares.Photo courtesy of Lesley Anton.
    Anton at her studio, with her wares.Photo courtesy of Lesley Anton.
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  A 12-inch utensil vessel, with a green glaze and carved, machine-like accents.Photo by Lesley Anton.
    A 12-inch utensil vessel, with a green glaze and carved, machine-like accents.Photo by Lesley Anton.
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  The Cone mug, with frost glaze on Black Mountain stoneware, retains the vibe of a 1970s kitchen.Photo by Lesley Anton.
    The Cone mug, with frost glaze on Black Mountain stoneware, retains the vibe of a 1970s kitchen.Photo by Lesley Anton.
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  The Circle bowl series, along with its brethren the Fold, Bead, Stripe and Dot, among others, are a line of what Anton calls “design-minded wheel-thrown dinnerware—comfy but cool.”Photo by Lesley Anton.
    The Circle bowl series, along with its brethren the Fold, Bead, Stripe and Dot, among others, are a line of what Anton calls “design-minded wheel-thrown dinnerware—comfy but cool.”Photo by Lesley Anton.
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  The Blossom pendant lamp “came from the idea of the clusters of organic forms in nature that we find on a regular basis,” says Anton, who added stainless hardware and a low-voltage 12v cable.Photo by Carol Reach.
    The Blossom pendant lamp “came from the idea of the clusters of organic forms in nature that we find on a regular basis,” says Anton, who added stainless hardware and a low-voltage 12v cable.Photo by Carol Reach.
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  The Barnacle pendant lamp is similar to the Blossom in its inspiration, rendered with a striking yellow glaze inside.Photo by Carol Reach.
    The Barnacle pendant lamp is similar to the Blossom in its inspiration, rendered with a striking yellow glaze inside.Photo by Carol Reach.
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  The Calliope lamp was inspired by Louise Nevelson and Louise Bourgeois (“my heroes,” says Anton). She named the piece after it was finished because it resembled the instrument, or perhaps even the lyre often held by the Greek goddess.Photo by Steve Burns.
    The Calliope lamp was inspired by Louise Nevelson and Louise Bourgeois (“my heroes,” says Anton). She named the piece after it was finished because it resembled the instrument, or perhaps even the lyre often held by the Greek goddess.Photo by Steve Burns.
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  The Lotus lamp is dedicated to its natural origins. “I buy the lotus roots at the Korean market and slice them up and press them into the wet clay to create an organic but evenly placed pattern,” says Anton.Photo by Steve Burns.
    The Lotus lamp is dedicated to its natural origins. “I buy the lotus roots at the Korean market and slice them up and press them into the wet clay to create an organic but evenly placed pattern,” says Anton.Photo by Steve Burns.
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  Like its table-size predecessor, the Cone floor lamp is highlighted by Shino, a traditional Japanese glaze.Photo by Carol Reach.
    Like its table-size predecessor, the Cone floor lamp is highlighted by Shino, a traditional Japanese glaze.Photo by Carol Reach.
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  The Core table lamp was inspired by one of Anton’s favorite Danish potters, Axel Salto.Photo by Carol Reach.
    The Core table lamp was inspired by one of Anton’s favorite Danish potters, Axel Salto.Photo by Carol Reach.
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  The Dotted Bottle floor lamp was Anton’s first of this type, conceived with the help of David Serrano from the Los Angeles shop Downtown.Photo by Carol Reach.
    The Dotted Bottle floor lamp was Anton’s first of this type, conceived with the help of David Serrano from the Los Angeles shop Downtown.Photo by Carol Reach.
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  The supply cupboard filled with materials ready for Anton's hand to transform them into new designs.Photo by Lesley Anton.
    The supply cupboard filled with materials ready for Anton's hand to transform them into new designs.Photo by Lesley Anton.
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  The Machine 2 lamp has a mica metallic glaze and was inspired by machinery and metal machine parts.Photo by Carol Reach.
    The Machine 2 lamp has a mica metallic glaze and was inspired by machinery and metal machine parts.Photo by Carol Reach.
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  The Teardrop lamp, says Anton, “is a different way of executing what may seem like a fairly traditional form, but adding interest for the glaze to play off of. I love this surface. It reminds me of my grandma’s hobnail glassware.”Photo by Carol Reach.
    The Teardrop lamp, says Anton, “is a different way of executing what may seem like a fairly traditional form, but adding interest for the glaze to play off of. I love this surface. It reminds me of my grandma’s hobnail glassware.”Photo by Carol Reach.
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  The Sol table lamp, like its cousin Dune, “were introduced together in an attempt to create a heavier look—more wood, more chunky,” says Anton. “They both pretty much came out of a trip to the desert years ago, from the contrast of the sand and shadows.”Photo by Carol Reach.Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our  FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!
    The Sol table lamp, like its cousin Dune, “were introduced together in an attempt to create a heavier look—more wood, more chunky,” says Anton. “They both pretty much came out of a trip to the desert years ago, from the contrast of the sand and shadows.”Photo by Carol Reach.

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