Scene and Heard: Christopher Spitzmiller
“We live in an age where it makes sense to have useful everyday things,” said ceramist Christopher Spitzmiller, on Wednesday, October 21, at a trunk show held at Sue Fisher King in San Francisco. The Rhode Island School of Design graduate’s hand-thrown, classically shaped lamps set in yellow or white gold bases have long been considered works of art sought out by such decorators as Albert Hadley and Richard Keith Langham. Now Spitzmiller and his New York-based team have added a line of hand-marbled plates finished in bright, modern glazes that are meant to be used for every meal. The dishes, both dishwasher and microwave safe, beckon from a perch inside King’s Presidio Heights tabletop shop, and will continue to do so for the next three months.
The bright delft blue hues, alongside pinks, lilacs, teals, and browns add an elegant whimsy to the dining table, even when they’re mixed and matched with other objects. “The idea of one solid set is yesterday’s news,” said Spitzmiller. “You pick a color palette that works for you, then use lots of different china patterns together. I set a table with a different color placemat and napkin,” he added. “I’m all about contrasts.” The plates and bowls also compliment Spitzmiller’s lamps, an elegant mix of high and low-er. But, like the lamps, the plates must also remain intact through the delicate firing process in the kiln. “With ceramics, you have a 70-percent success rate,” Spitzmiller said. Even his everyday objects have a precious aura about them.
By Elizabeth Varnell
Pictured: Ceramic designer Christopher Spitzmiller.
Photo courtesy of Christopher Spitzmiller