The Home and Garden of This Los Angeles Ceramicist Inspired His Latest Collection

Los Angeles–based ceramicist Eric Roinestad had an exhibition slated for May 2020. Needless to say, that didn’t happen. But being stuck at home was fine by him. “I’m a homebody anyway,” he admits. “I just started focusing on the environment around me—the animals, the plants, the vibe. And the whole show came together.”

Opening September 16 at design gallery the The Future Perfect's Casa Perfect location, said finally-come-to-fruition show is filled with the fruits of that time at home. Before shipping the works across the country, Roinestad captured many of his new ceramic critters and other confections in the place that inspired them—his home. Snakes coil around table lamps and vessels, cats peer out from the garden, owls flank the fireplace. California poppies poke their heads out of wine bottles—“we drink a lot of wine around here,” Roinestad jokes (these wine bottles are also made from ceramic).

Roinestad, who worked as an art director and graphic designer—most recently for Capitol Records, before he turned to ceramics—has lived with his partner in L.A.’s Highland Park neighborhood for 20 years. The couple are the second-ever owners of the 1930s Spanish home, which is set on a roomy property. Over the years, they’ve made it their own. The vacant lot behind them (once the tennis courts of a wealthy neighbor) became a lush garden, planted with native California plants, shrubs, and trees. The disconnected garage in the back with sliding barn doors and giant windows became Roinestad’s ceramics studio, where his vessels and objects come to life via a bespoke process of wheel throwing and building.

Inside, the couple’s love of collecting is on full display: Treasures by the likes of Jean Royère, T. H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, Charlotte Perriand, and Børge Mogensen mix in with a charming collection of wood Monterey furniture. The latter is a sort of folk style that developed in California during the 1930s, which was specially intended for the sorts of houses Roinestad now inhabits: “The makers would look at the furniture in the Western movies and kind of create that old, worn-out Spanish furniture.”

Decades of design obsession and collecting have also influenced Roinestand’s work in rather nuanced ways. “A lot of the forms have evolved from things I’ve researched, like metal Italian and Finnish lamps,” he explains. And indeed in his latest works you can detect a nod to Poul Henningsen and Achille Castiglioni. “I think it’s interesting to take those forms and create them in stoneware, a completely different material. It’s a whole different vibe.”

Roinestad, who, for the moment at least, works alone, says his time hunkering down has been good for his work: “I think I got in my head more,” he explains. “It made me focus a lot.” And now he has an exhibition to show for it.

Roinestad converted the disconnected garage behind the house, with its big windows and sliding barn doors, into his at-home ceramics studio.

The ceramicist in his yard with vintage outdoor furniture and two new stoneware snake vessels.

Roinestad in his ceramics studio, surrounded by work old and new.

Wine bottles with poppies in the petite kitchen.

Snake pendant hangs above a vintage table surrounded by Børge Mogensen chairs in the dining area. A grouping of paintings by Barry McGee hangs nearby.

A Scallop lamp sits with a Charlotte Perriand lounge chair, Gustav Stickley cabinet, and a Raymond Pettibon print.

A floor lamp by Roinestad with a Robsjohn Gibbings side table.

A Scallop torchère and Snake lamp in the living room with a fuzzy Fritz Hansen armchair and a mix of Monterey pieces, including a squiggly-edge sofa.

A rare Eiffel Tower cocktail table by Jean Royère anchors the living room, otherwise populated by a Monterey armchair, Charlotte Perriand stool, and a range of animated works by Roinestad. The framed drawing is by Hernan Bas, and the sculpture to the left is by Alma Allen. On the cabinet, the print is by Tauba Auerbach, the bowl is by Allen, and the sculpture is by Roinestad.

In the reading room, books cover the Monterey table and benches. Artworks include, clockwise from left, a Weegee photograph of Weegee and Andy Warhol, a Will Fowler painting, and a Jonas Wood print.

Cat head peers out from the garden, planted with native California species.

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