Irving Place Studio's roots in Los Angeles date back six decades. It was founded by artists Dora De Larios and Ellice Johnston in 1968. Students of noted 20th century ceramic artists Vivika and Otto Heino, Dora and Ellice brought their unique sensibilities to the burgeoning Los Angeles Studio Pottery Movement. Irving Place Studio became the home of six ceramists, as well as a painter and a sculptor – all bursting with creativity, productivity and community. During the 1970s, Dora was commissioned to make dinnerware for the White House's annual Senate Ladies Luncheon. In a letter from First Lady Rosalyn Carter to the Senate wives, Mrs. Carter said, “What is so exciting to me is that the heritage of our crafts has not been lost under the weight and speed of advancing technology.” Work created by hand and the feeling that comes with it has always been the mission of Irving Place Studio.
Over time Dora broadened her focus to include work in cast concrete, brass, stainless steel, acrylic and wood, completing a variety of large-scale architectural commissions. Dora’s ceramic sculptures were recently featured in three major exhibitions as part of the J. Paul Getty Museum’s 2011 show Pacific Standard Time and she was recently honored with a 50 year retrospective at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles.
Black and white studio photo and group photo from American Craft Magazine June/July 1981, article by Elaine Levin, photos by Jeffrey L. Levin. Group photo is of Irving Place Studio ceramists from left to right Kazuko Matthews, Fern Jane Cook, Cherie Silver, Barbara Pinkski, and Dora De Larios. Photo of Ellice Jonhston mixing glaze to the left by Bernard Judge.
Irving Place Studio today is a collaboration between Dora, her daughter Sabrina Judge, and son-in-law Aaron Glascock. Started in the summer of 2012, together they created a line of contemporary, elegant hand thrown ceramics for everyday use at the table. Combining Dora’s endless knowledge of clay and glazes with Sabrina and Aaron's contemporary design esthetic, Irving Place Studio offers simple, elegant, unadorned handmade basics. The simple shape and clean finish work of the bowls and plates is the main design feature. Irving Place Studio’s bowls and plates are thrown on a potter's wheel by a master ceramist with decades of experience. Our slab platters and plates are draped by hand.
All work is done by hand in Los Angeles.
Irving Place Studio’s mission is to design and make contemporary, elegant handmade ceramics of the highest quality for everyday use. We merge functionality with timeless beauty, using master ceramists to attain our goal. Our bowls are made using traditional methods - hands - and time-tested materials - earth & water. Each piece is hand thrown on a potter's wheel, making each bowl unique. We are carrying on the tradition of hand thrown pottery in California. With our lives controlled more and more by technology, we seek beauty and feeling in things created by hand. Irving Place Studio is local, all of our bowls are made at our studio in Los Angeles. We are very proud to be part of the local movement and feel it is very important to make our bowls and plates here.
Our bowls and plates are made out of porcelain or stoneware and are hand thrown on a potter's wheel. Our slab platters are hand draped over molds we make at the studio. All of our glazes are made in house and many are special formulas created by Dora over the past 50 years which we guard like one of her warriors - Ha! Every piece is worked on 12 times by hand. Every piece is glazed by hand. Size, shape and glaze application vary slightly making each piece unique and special - perfectly imperfect! We strive to make every piece with the highest level of craftsmanship. Dora says that the work is imbued with soul because of how many times each piece has been handled and worked on. We think she is right and that is the mission of Irving Place Studio for sure.
All the clay we use comes from the US and 90% of our glaze materials are from the US as well. The ware is bisque fired to cone 06 (1830 degrees Fahrenheit), glazed, then high fired to cone 10 (2381 degrees Fahrenheit) reduction in a gas kiln.
All of our ceramics are dishwasher safe. It is ok to use Bon Ami as needed.
Everyone listed below plays an extremely important of IPS. It takes a village for sure!
Dora De Larios - Designer, our knowledge bank and inspiration. With over 57 years experience in clay, Dora is in charge of glaze development and firing.
Sabrina Judge – Designer, operational director, glazing, firing and everything else it takes to keep IPS going.
Aaron Glascock – Designer, tooling and production advisor.
Doug Van Sickle – A production potter for 36 years Doug's encyclopedic knowledge of clay and ceramic materials baffles us daily. His precision throwing is truly a gift.
Heather Jackson - Ceramic student. Our spunky studio assistant helps with everything from to making really great coffee to hand sanding bisqueware and keeps things in order around the studio. Yay Heather!
Actually we are all really fun to be around - come visit us at the studio!
Site photography - Dale Strumpell, Aaron Glascock and Sabrina Judge unless otherwise noted.
Please visit doradelarios.com for more information about Dora's work.