The wonders of mass production and digital consumption have led to a yearning for something more special. Unique. One-of-a-kind. And this goes for most things we consume today — clothing, furniture, food, and even media. Things like price and convenience typically leave us content, but fail to fully satisfy. They always beg the question, “What else is there?”
Our quest for something truly unique and significant brought us to Workaday Handmade, a humble studio in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn run by 28 year-old Forrest Lewinger. The young artist, originally from Georgia, moved to New York to pursue a career in ceramics in 2011; His latest work ranges from messy polka-dot bowls and skinny lop-sided vases to oven-safe cookware that are still “an apartment experiment.”
Recently, we spent a morning at Workaday Handmade, where we were first shown a traditional potter’s wheel. “Thrown” clay pieces were shaped through an ancient and meticulous hand-shaping process. White porcelain molds, used in producing more predictable and uniformly-shaped objects, sat in the corner. These molds would later result in multi-color marbled vases.
Workaday’s “Handmade”-ness is defined by Lewinger’s humanly inconsistent, rough, and almost childlike mark-making. He paints intricate geometric patterns with a satisfyingly uneven hand, while retaining a level of precision. Calm and poised, he churns out piece after piece, in all colors and shapes. No two pieces are ever the same, but they unify under one Workaday aesthetic.
Everyday, Lewinger leaves behind a body of physical work — an extension of himself — which is hard to say for a lot of us. He is carving his own lane and unique voice in a world where perfectly-made mass-produced goods usually prevail. We can’t wait to see what rolls out of Workaday Handmade next. Walk with us through the studio in the gallery above and find his products here.
Photography: Thomas Welch/Selectism.com