We had the pleasure of interviewing the very talented and innovative Jonathan Adler last week and are excited to share his own words with you, the Apartment Therapy community. One of our very favorite designers, Jonathan's work is bold, colorful, fresh and relevant and his eye for eclectic yet comforting wares literately makes us smile. After the jump, check out the first of a 2-part interview with Jonathan.
JONATHAN ADLER: I was a production potter for many years which was a fab experience. I made these nifty hand thrown pots on which I would painstakingly hand paint perfect stripes. It was gruelingly hard work, lots of discipline required, repetitive, repetitive, repetitive, and, best of all, the ultimate forum for daydreaming. While making my daily quota of 100 mugs or 20 teapots or 25 decanters, I would daydream about all the stuff I would design and make once I could figure out a way to untether myself from the wheel.
Luckily I got myself untethered and now I have the opportunity I daydreamed of, the opportunity to work in lots of different fabrications and to layer on different design idioms.
So, anyway, back to your question, I've always maintained some elements from my original pots--stripes and organic forms and crisp silhouettes--but I've evolved in too many ways to enumerate. Don't forget, I've been at this a long time.
ARE YOUR SOURCES FOR INSPIRATION OR "MUSES" DIFFERENT NOW THAN THEY WERE WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED?
JONATHAN ADLER: Yes and no. Some of my muses are forever: the holy trinity for me is Alexander Girard, Bonnie Cashin, and Bjorn Wiinblad because they perfectly capture the idea that art or design can be fabulously chic and creative and have a note of levity. I strive to combine chic and levity.
Other longtime muses include the incomparable David Hicks and Mrs. Goldstein, my next door neighbor growing up with Auntie Mame-ish panache. Read about her in my book.
But, as a designer I strive to constantly evolve and change and my muses change with moi. Lately I've been obsessed with the British Baroque/Mod decorator Anthony Redmile. I love the way he mixed neo-classicism with exoticism and always used lots of animal iconography and tusks. I think you can see his influence in my new tortoise lamp.
WHETHER IT'S FURNITURE, THE SUNLIGHT THAT COMES IN THROUGH THE WINDOWS, FAMILY PICTURES, A COMFY BED – WHAT MAKES YOUR HOME A HOME?
JONATHAN ADLER: What makes a home a home is walking in the front door and feeling happy. I like to surround myself with stuff that I love and has meaning to me. Simon, my husband, our beloved Norwich Terrier, Liberace, and every item in our home, from the Paul Evans bed to the thrift store paintings. The items you surround yourself with should make you feel happy and mean something.
[Photo of Jonathan by Dan Wilby]