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MONDAYS for Great Performances | Great Performances


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MONDAYS for Great Performances
by Jennifer Fiore and Nina Lalli

How our relationship with our incredible ceramicists came about as told the ceramicists themselves: MONDAYS' owners Jennifer Fiore and Nina Lalli. Through this collaboration we are featuring custom pieces on the GP Gift and Wedding Registry.

©Chelsea White

We met in spring 2011, when we found ourselves in the same Monday night ceramics class in Brooklyn. We were both looking for a creative outlet--a respite from our day jobs. We never thought ceramics would become our work, but we both fell in love with the medium and instantly fell into a conversation about each other’s work.  Every 8 weeks when the class ended we would sign up for the next session, until we realized we had outgrown the class structure and needed more space and time to explore the forms that were starting to obsess us.  We moved from there to a communal studio and finally, in summer 2014, to our own space near the Navy Yard, where we can sit down with clients like Great Performances and talk about new ideas. From the beginning we both were drawn to hand-building (as opposed to working on a wheel) and both made a lot of flat pieces like platters and plates formed from slabs, which we’ve been lucky to explore with restaurants and caterers. It’s a simple method but we are endlessly finding new ways to shape and glaze the clay, taking our main inspiration from the rooms the dishes will be in, the food that they will hold, and the materials themselves.

Great Performances found us by chance, after seeing a tray of ours for sale in a Williamsburg boutique. We met the head designer and quickly started a lively collaboration, focusing on platters designed for passed hors d’oeuvres. It’s rare that a catering company would invest in handmade ceramics, but the design team at GP immediately understood the possibilities of a ceramic collaboration, and we have been steadily creating custom platters for GP since winter 2013. We always have something in the works, and when we complete one order, we talk again to come up with the next vision. Some platters are designed with certain foods in mind, or a new color based on the season. Our large round platter is a mainstay, and was first made in a mossy green glaze, then a blue and a swirly marbled version.

The round platter is just that, the perfect, almost flat circular platter for almost anything. GP served small bites on these (the platters come in a mossy green, earthy blue, and a marbled brown-and-white clay combination with clear glaze), but for everyday, we see endless possibilities, from composed salads to sliced steak to cookies and milk. 

The Shell Platter is a customized version of a piece we always have in our inventory. The GP design team came for a studio visit, and was intrigued by the form—we did a series of tests of different clay bodies and glazes until we found the perfect combination of blue green glaze on red clay.

The Linen Tray is an opaque white glaze over textured dark brown clay, it is a square shape with edges that curl up at the corners. The clean white is a good canvas for a variety of foods.

The Denim Tray has a texture similar to that of the linen tray, but the design team wanted a glaze that would look like worn denim.  Each tray is a slightly different shade of indigo, and the density of the color changes across the surface.

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