AT Interview: Jonathan Adler Transcript

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

A few weeks back we had the pleasure of interviewing Jonathan Adler and someone asked if it would ever be possible to read a transcript. Voila! Thanks to the industriousness of one (and possibly two) readers, we now are able to publish the whole thing. Enjoy! (Thanks, P2!)

Maxwell – Hi this is Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan with Apartment Therapy and I’m speaking to Jonathan Adler. Hi Jonathan.

Jonathan Adler- Hey Maxwell!

MGR- How are you?

JA- I’m great.

MGR- So we’re very interested to know more about you (laughter). Basically, I don’t know if you remember but I met you through my friend Alexandra. We went to her wedding in Newport a long, long, long time ago.

JA- You know I read on your site that you had met me at a wedding, and I didn’t know whose wedding. I love Alex. I was a bridesmaid at the wedding. (laughs)

MGR- You were?

JA- How do you know Alex?

MGR- I went to high school with her.

JA- Oh no way!

MGR- And then I also— Jamie James is also an old friend and I think he was at the wedding too.

JA- Yes he was. I love Jamie James as well.

MGR- Yeah. And actually it was right after that I was… you were…with Jamie I was invited to go to Barney’s for a special warehouse preview because of you and Simon and it was lovely.

JA- Oh excellent.

MGR- So I feel like I met you a long time ago.

JA- Yes! Well hello again.

MGR- Hello again! And in the meantime a lot has happened.

JA- Yes!

MGR- I started this blog just a year and a half ago and you are—people are just fascinated and love your… everything you’re doing, so this is an absolute pleasure to get to talk you in person.

JA- Oh well that’s so sweet. I totally love your blog and it’s always very nice to see people writing nice things about me… sometimes they don’t and that’s okay too! (laughs) Always interesting to see the feedback.

MGR- Yeah, and there’s a lot of it! You seem to incite passion. So what I’ve done today is, we’ve pretty much taken every single question from readers. I’ve gone through the list and there are about bout 31 commentors in the last two days and I’ve sort of edited down a little bit and put it in order and I’m just going to run right through it and ask you questions and see what you say. How does that sound?

JA- Awesome.

MGR- Alright. So this is from AJ and we’re going to go right off with your book…
“How did you pick the title for your book?”

JA- It’s called “My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living,” and the book is really about my design philosophy, which I call “Happy Chic.” And it’s about infusing luxury and chic with happiness, and those are 2 sensibilities that I think are traditionally at odds. In the book the first essay I write is about going to stay at this very fancy resort in the Bahamas called the Ocean Club, which is very minimal and luxurious and chic and very grey and colorless. And its sister property is the Atlantis, which is this gigantic pink property that’s, like, full of people on jet skis… it’s bawdy, its not chic and its incredibly fun. One day we were so bored with our resort we walked down the beach to the Atlantis and saw how much fun people were having and it was at that moment that I had an
epiphany and realized the utter pointlessness of good taste without fun… So my goal in life is to infuse “chic” with “happiness”…

MGR- …and put those two clubs together, so to speak…

JA- Yeah, exactly, to make chic happy, and so that’s really what the book is about… it’s a guide to making your home happy.

MGR- And how do… how do you do that? If you’re doing your own home, whether it’s you or someone else how do you do that… and what makes that happen?

JA- To me, it’s about being bold and inappropriate… that’s sort of a consistent leitmotif in the book, ranging from lifestyle advise like “overdress or under-dress always” to real decorating advice like giving your apartment a name, you know, like “Worthington Arms” or putting a giant lion’s head doorknocker on your door or, you know, painting a wall orange. So I think to me the key to making your home happy is to be exuberant and very personal and idiosyncratic.

MGR- OK, and how does it become chic? Because certainly people do that and it just comes off as really annoying or cloying…

JA- True! (laughs) To me chic comes from choosing great stuff. Certainly in my own work I hope that the chic component comes from the fact that I’m, you know, a very serious designer and I try to use sort of the best materials in the stuff I make, and likewise when I decorate people’s houses I choose pretty (???? 4:36) stuff. So that’s where the chic comes from, and then the exuberance I think…

MGR- So quality…

JA- There needs to be sort of a foundation of chic with a layer of exuberance, I believe, if that makes sense.

MGR- Okay. A lot of people if they’re going upscale— and I’ve certainly seen this in my work— if they’re buying expensive stuff they can get very conservative really fast and they often are not as bold… is that what you see too?

JA- Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s definitely a problem when, you know, the house is very “fancy pants” people tend to be very tentative and I really think you should decorate for yourself and not worry about what anybody else thinks.

MGR- Well huh. Okay good. So I’m going to skip onto from there to AJ asked the same question and this is sort of backtracking a bit, but I think it’s a good one… to how you got started in pottery? I think you’ve written about it, certainly in your mission statement, but it’s always good to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth…

JA- My career has been really weird and serendipitous. I started making pots when I was at summer camp and always dreamed of being a potter and was told by my pottery teacher in college that I had no talent and that I should bag it. So I moved to NY and got a job in the entertainment industry and luckily I proved to be a terrible employee and I was fired…

MGR- Did you ever… have you ever spoken to that teacher again?

JA- I have actually. I have.

MGR- Someone else asked about that, if you had ever gone back and…

JA- Yeah, I have seen her since, and it sort of very satisfying. I think everyone needs a bete noir in their past, you know, to trigger them to want to achieve something. So anyway, after I was fired I got a pottery studio, purely for my own, for myself, and I thought, well, I’ll try being a potter and I thought at the time that I was sacrificing um, you know, any hopes of glamour or fun to pursue my passion, which was clay, and I was totally fine with that. And I sort of envisioned a future of rain-soaked craft fairs. And then, you know, I got an order from Barney’s, and sort of one thing led to another and I’ve had just this very strange serendipitous circuitous career.

MGR- What do you think… I remember you saying that, and certainly Barney’s is sort of the career starter for a lot of people… I have even a friend I work with who just got picked up by Barney’s and that’s like a huge break. Was Barney’s the beginning and was that in itself a, you know, the break you needed, or was there also something going on at the time that people were looking to buy pottery? Because pottery was still… I mean now it seems to be all over the place, but I didn’t think people were that hip to buying lots of pottery 10-15 years ago…

JA- That’s true, I don’t think they were. I mean Barney’s has a history of being really an incredible place because they sort of really pick up artisans and are always on the hunt for interesting resources…

MGR- And they bring a lot of good stuff into the city…

JA- Yeah, and so in that sense they’re an amazing place to start. And then, for me I realized pretty quickly though that I needed to diversify my stylistic offerings in order to build a more substantial business and you know, “claw my way to the middle” (laughs) and not be sort of stuck in an artisanal cul-de-sac.


MGR- So did you do that by yourself? Did you have help? How did that realization
manifest itself?

JA- Gradually, honestly. As I said, when I first started I literally had no idea what I was doing. I had no business experience or even knowledge or understanding. I was like a total idiot who didn’t even no know what an invoice was. I was like embarrassingly Venusian about the whole thing… you know as if I was from Venus, I was so clueless.
And what happened was I just got an order and then I got more orders, and I ended up working 7 days a week, 12 hours a day, just slaving away behind the wheel making no money and it became pretty clear to me that something had to change. You know, I’m a pretty analytical person, so…

MGR- What do you mean you made no money? If you’re working all those days and all those hours, and you were ostensively selling pottery, how does one make no money?

JA- I was sooo hand to mouth it was truly pathet… that’s probably when you met me, actually, I was probably still in my very hand-to-mouth years! I made no money. First of all I was an idiot. I would spend three days making a pot and I was so honored to have it in Barney’s that I would charge about $7 for it. Any cottage industry is incredibly challenging. I think there’s often an illusion that when you see people’s stuff popping around that they’re making a lot of money and/or are becoming a big corporation, but I think any sort of artisanal business is really, really challenging and takes a long to time to figure out how to make it lucrative. The good news is that for being a potter there’s really no start-up cost. I mean I didn’t really start my business officially in any way but you know just the act of getting a studio— probably cost me a few thousand bucks—and then it was sort of the hand-to-mouth existence for few years…

MGR- When do you start to make money? When does becoming a potter… where’s the tipping point in your life or in any potter’s life?

JA- I don’t know that there often is a tipping point for a potter in the money department… I feel like I was very lucky and for me it was retail. When I first opened my store in SoHo in 98 that was sort of a real tipping point and I guess the other tipping point that preceded that was getting somebody else to start making my stuff which is what I did when I found a workshop in Peru…

MGR- So you were making it all by yourself and then you eventually outsourced and you found good people to make…

JA- Yeah, I was making it all myself and losing my mind and making no money and then I found this organization called Aid to Artisans which is a non-profit that connects artisans in America to artisans in developing countries for sort of a “non-Kathy Lee Gifford” kind of business relationship. And I got on a plane to Peru, which embarrassingly I didn’t even know where Peru was… I was an idiot. And lucked out and found a great workshop. And that really enabled me to diversify my biz and become more analytical and change my biz.


MGR- So not making your own pots probably allowed you to think outside your own box and start work on just designs…?

JA- Yeah totally.

MGR- Your work changed dramatically… I remember your first pots were beautiful, classic and then they turned into lamps and then there were the pillows and then I’d say about 3-4 years ago everything started to get really, really, really funky and start to just explode…

JA- You know I mentioned before the “cul-de-sac of an artisan”… I think that often people get into a stylistic cul-de-sac and like, say, “This is who I am, this is my look” and then it sort of has limits. And for me, I think for me I never wanted that to be the case, I wanted to be as aesthetically schizophrenic as I could be and as I wanted to be.

MGR- That’s part of the fun quotient, right?

JA- Yeah, well I think that the really stylistically liberating thing for me was having this happy chic ethos. It sort of enabled me to do a million different things as long as it all falls under the “Happy Chic” rubric rather than seeing myself, as you know, as the guy who does hard-edged geometry”, I’d just see myself as the guy who does “Happy Chic” and so whether that is a needlepoint pillow or a stripey pot or a mansard-edged sofa, you know to me as long as it falls somewhere in the “Happy Chic” spectrum then it’s stylistically consistent.

MGR- You weren’t “Happy Chic” when you started by yourself, this has evolved, it sounds like…?

JA- I would say that I was, it’s just that I just didn’t quite have the words for it… I wasn’t so analytical at the time! But I think my very early work was definitely a reaction to the dourness of a lot pottery. I think that, I know what you are saying when you talk about the “funky explosion.” I think what you’ll see if you really check out my store there are many different vibes going on and that that sort of “classical organic modernism” is very much in effect, still, but luckily I have the platform to also put out a lot of really idiosyncratic stuff if I feel like it. So I’m very lucky to have the platform of having seven stores, and you know, an interior design business, and all those things so I can make a pot that’s just a real formal aesthetic exploration, and then I can make a giant apple tray. So there are many different facets to what I do.

MGR- So that leads us right to Christine’s question which is… “Why the breast vase? And was it difficult to do?”

JA- (laughs) Um, YES! It was difficult to do. The breast vase, because again I have the platform to be as idiosyncratic as I want.,. and really that whole collection, the Muse collection of pottery is about taking the geometric patterning and iconography that I’m most known for and replacing it with body parts. It’s a very simple idea. Whereas normally I might do a repeat of circles or lines… in this case it’s breasts.
I am very proud of that collection because it’s sort of a technological feat of engineering to get it all to be “castable.”

MGR- Is that right? It’s cast, not done by hand?

JA- I make the model in New York then send it to my workshop and then it’s cast in porcelain.

MGR- Was there a model for that vase or was it just out of your head?

JA- No, out of my head. When I say I make the model I mean I throw a pot and then we sculpt the breasts onto the pot…

MGR- Oh you do?

JA- Yeah.

MGR- Okay, so every breast is different?

JA- Yeah, every breast is different. Just like in life, Maxwell! (laughs)

MGR- So Amy asks “What inspires your designs?” And I’m imagining that each collection goes off in a different direction so there’s probably different inspirations for different years…

JA- Oh I have so many… oh go ahead…

MGR- But she asks specifically about Rex Ray who she sees in your shop…

JA- Rex Ray is this fabulous artist who is a San Francisco-based artist whose work I saw in a magazine and loved and called him up and we sort of just developed this business relationship and friendship on the phone and I’ve been selling his stuff and now actually I sell it exclusively.

MGR- Is that right?

JA- Yeah, we were giving him so much work and it’s been such a hit, um, and now I’ve just opened my seventh store as I mentioned so there’s enough critical mass for him to just sell through us and you know not be bothered by a lot of different accounts…


MGR- Good, good, good. Robyn asks: “How would you classify your work, modern, as in contemporary, or modern as inspired by the modern era?” It’s sort of an interesting question…

JA- I don’t know where I’d fall on the continuum. I would say that my work, my aesthetic, is very eclectic. I would call it “familiar but fresh.” It’s definitely grounded in modernism but through a contemporary filter. It’s funny. I grew up in a very modern house. My dad was sort of a rigorous modernist and it was all sort of Knoll furniture and that kind of thing. My mother has a much more exuberant aesthetic so I grew up around Marimekko textiles and I think that their sort of disparate sensibilities are very much apparent in my own sensibility.

MGR- So they’re sort of fighting their way out! Because there are the animals, the horse lamp… there’s especially your new collection that I saw at ICFF or the Gift Fair… it’s almost “mid-century-mid-century”, sort of— don’t take this the wrong way, but sort of grandmotherly…

JA- (laughs) Which pieces is it I’m wondering?!

MGR- Well, just some of the colors.. it’s almost a retro feeling… And more classical, but not classical shapes… because it’s not classical. But for example, your new lamps which are very tall, and round bulbous shapes.

JA- Kind of the “Bewitched Modern” kind of look?

MGR- Yeah, yeah.

JA- But it’s in lacquer…

MGR- And then the animals are sort of “not modern” in their own way, they’re just different…

JA- Well, I would say… I think that a lot of the modern stuff that you see out there in the world, certainly in the pottery world, whether it’s just sort of this silhouette-based thing or very simple shape, to me is the kind of stuff that one can design on a computer, or, you know sort of often designed by product development people. You know, I’m first and foremost a potter and I think that I want to continue to be challenged and explore different aesthetic avenues, so when I do something like the animal collection…

< end part one>

MGR- Alright, sorry about that…

JA- No worries.

MGR- …it was suppose to record up to an hour but it stopped after 25 minutes…

MGR- So, we’ve got… I said originally 20 minutes, if we could do 30… if we could do another 5 – 10 minutes…

JA- Totally. I have plenty of time. I love talking about myself! (laughs)

MGR- Okay, good. We were talking about… actually, tell me, where were we?! (laughs)

JA- We were talking about my ceramic animals. And I think I was saying that I want to remain sort of aesthetically challenged. And I think it sort of goes back to what I was saying before, about how I have the opportunity, the seven stores, and can make whatever I want and put it on the shelves, so as far as my influences and my output, it really is quite schizophrenic, and I think, I’ve noticed on your blog a lot of people are like “eh, he’s just ‘reissuing’ this that or the other” say some people and other people say they love what I do… To some degree I’m a merchant, and I need to sell stuff and I think some of my stuff is really is pretty amalgeous to mid-century design and some of it is completely “sui generous.” I would argue that the mix of all those different influences and stuff creates sort of unique style. Certainly there is a range of stuff I do. Some of it is very mid-century modern-influenced, some of it is completely idiosyncratic.

MGR- Do you find with the seven stores and with the ability to experiment, to a certain extent, I imagine you can make mistakes now that you couldn’t make before because you can adapt quickly and have a bigger sort of repertoire? Do you experiment and find that you don’t like things after a while and change them other things you go forward on? There must be a mix…

JA- Oh my god, there’s total mix. I’m very lucky to be very prolific… I don’t know if that’s a— I don’t know what that sounds like… we make a lot of stuff in my company. And I really am thrilled to be able to have an idea and have the resources now to realize it. And some of the ideas suck!

MGR- Are the ideas all your idea, by the way, or do you have a team?

JA- I have a team of people, a total team of people and it’s very very collaborative. And they’re all great and ingenious and we have a really fun time and sort of a giddy corporate culture if we had a corporate culture. And you know we all sit around and design and work and it’s great. And some of it as I said is totally bad. But I’d rather fail every once in awhile than be sort of constipated in my output…

MGR- Have you ever pulled something… just like made it and then go “Oh that’s a huge mistake! Let’s just pull that immediately!”

JA- Ohmigod millions of times! I think that’s the great thing about retail in the way I do it is that nobody’s really keeping score. Except perhaps for some of the people on your own website! (laughs)

MGR- But the retailers who buy…

JA- The retail industry, I mean, but I mean in my own stores I can put something out on the shelves for two months and it can suck and we can stop making it and it’s not a big deal. I think if you don’t… if you’re not overly… again, I’d rather be prolific than constipated. And one of the negative elements of that is that there’s gonna be some duds in the mix.

MGR- So Joel asks: “What do you think about the mass-market imitators? Is it flattering or infuriating?” As much as you’ve copied yourself for people like, I mean, you’re at Room & Board now, I think you did a line for Crate & Barrel, I think…

JA- I’m at Bed Bath & Beyond with… I have a whole licensed collection…

MGR- But then your designs of course have crept into other people’s collections… (4:10)

JA- They have. I mean, I find it very, very flattering to be honest. And I think part of… I think, when I was saying, you know, that I think it’s important to keep changing stylistically, a lot of that’s about not… I’m gonna be imitated and hopefully I’ll have moved on by the time the stuff comes out. And I’m lucky in the sense that most people who imitate it do it worse than I do and I don’t really know why that is… I feel like if you’re going to imitate something, like, take it to the next level but that’s fine. Um, but again I feel it’s really important to become stylistically diverse so you don’t hold on to your ideas too carefully and become embittered. You know, I’m not at all embittered by the knock-offs, unless they are done brilliantly.

MGR- Because you just keep moving, in a way?

JA- I keep moving, and also I’m lucky, as I said, because most of the knock-offs are worse! (laughs)

MGR- Has there ever been trouble, I wonder, if you ever get into a situation, or your company does or someone tells you “you should sue this person” or this or that, or is it just common practice that everyone’s constantly copying other people and you just have to keep ahead of the curve?

JA- I think it’s, primarily, it’s the latter. There have been a couple of situations where we’ve done some cease-and-desist-y kind of things with bigger companies who’ve just done really, really explicit knock-offs. But it varies. I think you’ve just got to keep moving and not… literally, if I sat there and kept track of it all I’d truly become an embittered person and that’s completely antithetical to my “Happy Chic” design philosophy!

MGR- To the Happy Chic! You noticed there were couple of comments today about, of course, and I deal with this all the time, there are some people who go into
stores and they don’t always have the best service in the world…

JA- You know I did see that!

MGR- …but the “Happy Chic” memo… I liked what Patrick said, he said “But not everybody got the ‘Happy Chic’ memo…”

JA- You know what, I saw that and of course it upsets me tremendously whenever anyone has a bad experience in my stores, truly, because it all goes back to the fact that I imagined a future for myself of rain-soaked crafts fairs, so I feel very, very lucky to have all my stores, and everything and so I truly, I don’t take anything for granted ever and so it makes me truly upset when people have a bad experience. However, I am happy to say that I get so many amazing compliments about the service in our stores and the vibe of the people that I’m gonna go with the majority on this one, and apologize to the person who had the bad experience but, all in all I just feel so lucky to have the peeps I have in my shops. They’re all great.

MGR- Cool. Well, I’ve noticed they’re all very friendly and to some extent, the stores I’ve walked into, they all seem like they’re your friends…like, they feel like you’ve put your friends in all these stores

JA- A lot of them are!

MGR- They seem to dress similarly without there being a code of any kind. People just seem to be generally upbeat and hip…

JA- Glad to hear that. And it’s a whole experience. The music, it’s the whole thing…


MGR- So, beyond the experience, Robin asks, and actually someone else had asked this as well, “What about the environment?” As you make more and more “stuff,” you’re responsible for putting more and more stuff out into the world and, are you conscious of the materials you use? She asks, “Can we all address using natural or eco-conscious materials and keep a product feeling fresh and progressive?” It’s a good question.

JA- It is a good question. I mean, to be honest, it’s not first and foremost on my mind. You know I think that it can be, again it can be terribly constipating if one’s too concerned about the environment. I think I try to do everything I do in an ethical way, you know, whether it be working with Aid to Artisans or whatever… And I think that when I look at my business, and at business in general, I’m a true believer in the goodness of capitalism and in things like the greatness of job creation and I would say that as much as I try to be ethical, it’s in that kind of arena. You know, like I’m proud to have created all these jobs in Peru…

MGR- A social mandate that you’re progressive on, more than worrying about whether your pottery… where your clay comes from…

JA- Yeah, and it’s totally not in the “Kumbaya” kind of way… it’s in the truly, it’s in the very real capitalistic kind of way. In a lot of my experiences with kind of Kumbaya-ish non-profit agencies, I’m sort of like, you know, “Mary, get with it!” There’s a real world of business and one has to be competitive and that’s sort of the arena I’ve chosen to play in. But I’m more focused on that than I am ecologically good design. I just try to make stuff with really good materials. And I’m not knockin’ down the rain forest or anything! (laughs)


MGR- Okay. So there are a number of questions, of course, that always get personal… there’s a question from JKL “Do you work at all with your sister Amy?” And I don’t even know why they were asking this–

JA- My sister is a law professor at NYU so that’s probably one of her students or something um, and, NO! Of course, we’re siblings so she drives me crazy! (laughs)

MGR- Then Enrique—who’s a big reader in LA—says: “I’m fascinated with you and your partner Simon. You guys remind me of Auntie Mame”—

JA- Oh!
MGR- –and I’ll leave out what’s in parentheses!—”will there be any future collaborations between you two… perhaps– please please!—a reality or lifestyle television show?!”

JA- Oh!

MGR- How do you take that?

JA- I think that’s incredibly sweet! I think Simon and I are… you know he… Simon wrote the preface to my book about us being a happy couple so it’s not like we’re exactly quiet about our relationship. You know we sort of are just living our lives and we are a very happy couple. Part of the root of our happiness is that we’re both very similar in our design philosophy and creative philosophy in that we’re both about sort of being communicative and exuberant rather than dour and obscure-antist (???), which I’m very committed to, sort of “communicative exuberance.

MGR- So you’re a creative team?

JA- Yeah, I think we’re very similar. Yeah, it’s a symbiotic situation. As for a reality TV show or anything like that, honestly, I think that being on TV would be such a bummer!

MGR- Why is that?

JA- It just seems like… I look at… I know a lot of people who’ve done those TV shows and they all just seem to be like, you know, working the red carpet… and it’s just like a bummer, this false gleeful attitude. I think it would really get in the way of doing what I do.

MGR- You mean it’s better to be happy if you’re just being happy, but when you’re put on cue with lights and everything, it becomes something different?

JA- Yeah, and I just think it would be… and if you sit around and wait… ugh. So, no.

MGR- And… “What’s the best thing about having a creative partner? And the worst thing?” from Patrick. Interesting question.

JA- The best thing is, I guess, well everything. Simon is really great. I would encourage everyone to read everything he does, but his most recent book “Nasty” is totally genius.

MGR- I’ve seen that.

JA- You gotta read it. It’s genius. But one thing that’s really, truly fantastic is that Simon is incredibly smart. And I feel like we share a very similar frame of reference despite our cultural differences—he’s English and a little bit older than I am—but we have a totally… we can speak in total shorthand. And there’s no negative.

MGR- So there’s no downside?

JA- No downside.

MGR- Okay.

JA- But I think that’s just because he’s a unique little creature.

MGR- So maybe that’s the secret, is finding your unique partner…

JA- Yeah, find a great person.

MGR- I’m gonna ask you the last question, but before I go, I’m going to ask you a really quick question… so it will be really brief…Vanessa asks, “What interior design magazines do you read or subscribe to?” People are always curious, people want to know what other people read…

JA- You know what? This is gonna sound…

MGR- …or do you?

JA- I do, I do. But I kind of try not to, because it’s sort of… I really try to stay pretty focused on what I’m doing and not look too much at everything else that’s out there. I mean of course I read, you know of course I look at, flip through magazines. I’ll tell you, I read Elle Décor, Domino, House & Garden, Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Met Home…

MGR- So all of them?

JA- I read them all, but I don’t really read them all, like I kind of kind of just don’t want to.

MGR- So you scan them?

JA- I sort of scan them and think, like, inevitably I’ll be like, “Why was I not in this story?” or like, “This person is doing that thing, should I?” and it’s just… I find it very distracting. So of course I’m conversant with them but I try not to be overly so.

MGR- Alright. And the final question. From John I or John the First, whichever it is… “Who do you consider the freshest up-and-coming designers in the home world?” And interestingly enough, he says “Even though you’re not that old—I think we’re the same age—who is the next Jonathan Adler?”

JA- Hmmm, hmmm hmm.

MGR- Maybe you’re already being pushed off the stage?! (laughs)

JA- (laughs)

MGR- Who do you like or admire? Is there someone…

JA- Ohmigod, I’m trying to think… I’m sure there are a million people… honestly, I can’t think of… There are some interior decorators who I like…

MGR- Who would that be?

JA- I love Kelly Wearstler, and I think Miles Reid is great. And, um who else do I like? I don’t know… I don’t honestly know who else I love…

MGR- Are there potters that you admire, whether up and coming, or maybe even ahead of your time, still alive?

JA- You know what, there’s definitely old school potters I love. I sort of, I grew up as an obsessed pottery maker and fan, so I’m incredibly conversant with all the, you know, people from the 70s and 80s. And then really, I feel like, in a funny way, when my pottery teacher said “bag pottery,” it was my farewell to the pottery world and I haven’t kept up with it at all. You know, I don’t really know what potters are up to, nor do they don’t know what I’m up to. We’ve gone on different paths, me and “pottery world people.”

MGR- Thank you very much. I’m going to stop there and let you go…

JA- Okay.

MGR- But we’re all going to read… it feels like a real radio interview… we couldn’t end it without saying “We should all go read Jonathan Adler’s “My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living.'”

JA- Yes please!

MGR- But we’re all going to do that! We’re gonna absolutely do that. And we’re also going to that read “Nasty.”

JA- Definitely read “Nasty”! It’s so great. I’ve just… I’ve read it about seven times. And every time I pick up another book, I’m like, “Enh, I’ll just read ‘Nasty’ again!”

MGR- Terrific!

JA- Thank you very much Maxwell. This was totally fun.

MGR- Thank you Jonathan. Have a good day!

JA- You too. Okay, bye bye!