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Ceramic Travel Guide - Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES

Los Angeles is a true gem when it comes to ceramics, the city is full of exciting art and design shops, ceramic workshops and if you are lucky there will be markets with different artists showing off their skills. So it would be a wonder if you don't stumble upon some beautiful ceramics - here are some of my must-go areas to explore in the search for new ceramics.
But before you start your ceramic hunt - start by fueling up at Gjusta in Venice. It’s a bit crowded on the weekends, but it’s so worth it. Start by choosing your favorite in the menu and then go totally crazy in all the "extras" - danishes, croissants, pizza slides and more. Don't hold back! 
Don't hold back! 
When you all fueled upstart exploring. Here is a list of some of, in my opinion, the 'must-go' areas if you are a ceramic fan!

Los Feliz

Inhabited by an eclectic mix of residents, this east side enclave is a wonderful hodgepodge of historic mansions and charming apartment buildings. This rare hybrid manages to offer both urban charms in the form of local shops, restaurants, bars, and nature in form of the grassy knolls of Griffith Park.

Fun fact about Los Feliz; it's the birthplace of one of California’s most iconic celebrities: Mickey Mouse. Walt Disney was living in the garage of his aunt and uncle’s Los Feliz house when he first drew the character that would become the world’s best-known mouse. He would later open his first animation studio just down the street. Buena Vista Street, the entrance of California Adventure, and the 2001 theme park addition to the Disneyland Resort is modeled after a 1920 version of the neighborhood.

 
Stores to visit...

Otherwild

1768 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz
See website

 
Owner Rachel Berks focuses exclusively on an artist- and designer-made clothing, jewelry, pottery, posters, and prints. This is one of those stores where you never know what you’re going to find, whether it’s a simple turquoise drop necklace or a Gravel & Gold toiletry case, emblazoned with line drawings of breasts.

Also if you have time in between the ceramic hunting - visit Skylight Books. One of my favorite bookshops of all time. 

Echo park

Between Silver Lake and Downtown is the area Echo Park, which besides a beautiful park holds a nice selection of small shops which sell everything from vinyl to crafts. 
Stores to visit...
Shout & About

1547 Echo Park Avenue,
see website 

Is the newest addition to echo park avenue, and a welcome one. Owner and shopkeeper Tamara Houghten first entertained the idea of the store when she failed to find an ideal shop for small gifts and goodies for her own friends. Bright, energetic and fun, Shout & About is artfully curated with several local and national products that seem made to be in each other’s company. With one of the best stationery selections and a wall of gift wrap. Shout & About is your new one-stop-shop for birthdays, parties, house warming gifts, etc. 

Myrtle

2213 Sunset Boulevard
See website 

Is an independently owned boutique that specializes in independent female designers from around the world. Myrtle was founded in 2011 as a brick and mortar destination showcasing the work of female designers in a comfortable place to see, touch. Here you can be lucky to find some great ceramics by artists Rami Kim and Ban Do - and much much more. 
 

Echo Park Pottery

1850 Echo Park Ave
See website
Echo Park Pottery was started by artist Peter Shire in 1972. He designates the work “post-pottery,” referring to the distinctive handmade construction and small-batch manufacturer of his objects in the larger context of poorly designed, mass-produced goods. My favorite pieces are the Echo Park mugs. They are built from simple shapes, a single slab for the cup and a handle, in a method that The Shire inherited from Adrian Saxe as a student at the Chouinard Art Institute, which later became the California Institute of the Arts. The glaze is applied like an Abstract Expressionist painting, the surface covered in colored drips, blotches, and splatters.
Shire’s studio is on Echo Park Avenue in Echo Park, Los Angeles, minutes from his childhood home. Every December there is a studio sale where you can stock up on painted tiles and Echo Park mugs.
 

Silver Lake

Silver Lake, on the other hand, is still home to indie stores, funky graffiti art, and a grungy feel. In this town --situated to the east of Hollywood--, girls walking down Sunset Boulevard resemble modern-day Françoise Hardy and guys look impossibly “hip” rocking vintage shirts and luxe tracksuit bottom matched with well-worn white sneakers. Feel free to play The Beastie Boys tunes in your head as you watch the hipsters walk by (the band is originally from New York but made the area its base for quite a while).
Start exploring the area at Sunset Junction where Sunset Boulevard meets Santa Monica Boulevard, which is also important in the history of gay rights (it’s where the first documented demonstration for gay rights took place in the country).
Stores to visit ...

 LAKE

1618 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake
See website
Founder Melissa Lovoy opened Lake in February 2007 in the heart of Silver Lake and filled this quietly low-key space with pieces that are modern, beautiful and well-made. 
Favoring the European lines she loves, Melissa fills her open, studio-style store with items that entertain an interplay of opposites: casual and elegant, refined and raw, edgy and classic, simple and sophisticated. 
I was lucky to find some great ceramics at Lake by a local LA artist - defiantly worth a visit. 
 

YOLK

1626 Silver Lake Blvd
See website
The yolk is a cute boutique on Silver Lake Boulevard, carrying wonderful home accessories, clothing, cards and stationery, and really darling kids stuff as well.

Lawson Fennig

1618 Silver Lake Blvd
See website
Is a stunning home interiors boutique with a great mix of new and vintage furniture and home decor accessories.

Broome Street General Store

2912 Rowena Ave., Silver Lake
See website
Broome St. General Store is a luxury convenience shop located in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.  In addition to the delicious lattes, homemade sandwiches, old-fashioned candies and trinkets, this general store stocks an equally excellent selection of home wares, including perfectly minimal white ceramic bowls, gardening tools, kitchen supplies and more.

Highland Park

The neighborhood of Highland Park in Northeast Los Angeles has made quite a name for itself over the last few years. Generally beating out fellow “trendy hoods" like Echo Park and Silver Lake in local conversations among Angelenos, Highland Park also ranked as one of the hottest markets in the country by real estate website, Redfin. Yes, it’s true, artists and musicians from surrounding neighborhoods seem to be flooding in by the busloads, but Highland Park has been able to hold on to its rich community charm.  York Boulevard and Figueroa Street are two strips that house most of the restaurants, coffee shops, and vintage stores.
Up-and-coming popularity and rich cultural history aren’t the only things Highland Park has going for it. It might be one of the last neighborhoods in LA that actually feels like, well, a neighborhood. A passenger train runs through the center of the city, shop owners know their customers by name, and some stores still close for lunch. York Boulevard plays host to art walks every month and besides the two main strips, parking is free and somewhat abundant (a treasured rarity in LA)And if you have tacos and margaritas on the brain, Highland Park is the dominant LA leader in all-things-Mexican food. Another perk not to be overlooked: the town has yet to be taken over by brand name stores. Highland Park really is the truest of neighborhoods in LA. 

Stores to visit...

Matters of space 

Los Angeles 5005 York Blvd. LA CA 90042
See website
PJ Roden and Katerina Gabbro, owners of Matters of Space, a design firm, and boutique located in Highland Park. Great place to find unique design objects, and they have a great and beautiful selection of Lily King ceramics. 

Downtown and Art District

Downtown Los Angeles has been swept up in a cultural resurgence unlike any other in LA's recent history. The city center has snapped out of decades of decline and—though it's far from perfect—become a bona fide modern metropolis. Downtown is a worthwhile destination for tourists and locals alike, whether to check out the museums and cultural institutions on top of Bunker Hill, restaurants and bars in the Historic Core or concerts and sporting events in South Park. Though its old, beautiful buildings and contemporary skyscrapers may never steal the global spotlight from the Venice beachfront and faded glamor of Hollywood, Downtown Los Angeles is quickly becoming the city's, heart.
It may seem like a no man's land at first glance, but the Downtown Arts District in Los Angeles is a whole 'other beast when you take a closer look. Equal parts warehouse wasteland and burgeoning hub for LA's young, professional and creative, the Arts District is the city's neighborhood to watch. And with approximate limits of Second Street to Seventh Street and Alameda Street and the LA River, surprisingly, the Southeast section of Downtown is totally walkable.
Stores to visit...

Poketo

820 E. 3rd St., Arts District
See website
A testament to owners (and real-life couple) Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung’s creativity and taste, this color-happy shop in the Arts District somehow manages to look entirely different from visit to visit. While the core categories—home décor, stationery, accessories, and kids—stay the same, the assortment is constantly updated to keep up with the latest and greatest in design and still meet Poketo’s playful aesthetic. Expect to find Japanese stationery, tabletop pieces from Danish firm HAY, beautiful art books, and so much more. Note** This store is unfortunately closed its business in the art district, but can still be found online and at The Line Hotel - Little Tokyo. 

Formerly Yes

954 S. Broadway, Downtown
See website

One of my favorite shops in LA - so beautiful! You kind of just want to stay there for a while enjoying the mood and gorgeous design objects and ceramics. 

Founded on the design principle that less is often more, Formerly Yes (which formerly used to just be online-only), now occupies an airy boutique Downtown—just a stone’s throw from the Ace. Much likes its site, the offerings are extremely winnowed down and edited, i.e., you’ll find only design classics, like Braun alarm clocks, Japanese platters, and Littala tumblers.

Also worth mentioning...

Venice! Loved this area - perfect for nice strolls, lots of small independent boutiques and cafés. Worth a visit - check out 'Flowerboy Projects' at 824 Lincoln Blvd., Venice. This airy spot on Lincoln is kind of the perfect trifecta: Part café (plus donuts!), part home goods shop, and part florist. The taste level here is spot-on, as it’s the sort of place where you might swing by for a latte and emerge with five hostess gifts and a stunning bouquet. 
 
Also worth a visit, is perhaps the first name in Southern California pottery; Heath Ceramics. Here you can find everything in ceramics. From production to courses - Heath ceramics have it all. 
Need a good spot for a good dinner in amazing surroundings - visit The Line Hotel in Little Tokyo, where you will find the restaurant 'The Commissary'. A very cool spot defiantly worth a visit. 
 

LET THE HUNT BEGIN! 

Look here for ceramics made in the US

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