Quantcast

Studio Tour

Studio Tour: MONDAYS

by Annie Werbler

After graduating from Monday night ceramics classes together, working in a communal studio, and now finally in their own space, Jennifer Fiore and Nina Lalli of MONDAYS have been making hand-built ceramics in their Clinton Hill, Brooklyn workroom for a year and a half. Signing the lease on their own 450-square-foot space was a huge step, and meant buying and installing a kiln and slab roller — both daunting and exciting investments. Now working together for a total of four years, having a place with its own sink in a renovated 1935 industrial building (with original character intact) has ramped up the operation’s production and creativity. For functional furnishings, Jennifer and Nina salvaged industrial metal shelving to hold most of their in-process and finished work. They also bought used stainless steel restaurant pieces as their work tables, and repurposed an old baker’s rack as well. A friend built a wedging table custom-made for the pair’s short statures. As part of a “cleaner” area up front for eating together and hosting visitors, neighbors Tony and Emily Mullin designed and installed a cabinet with grooved display shelves that prop up multiple plates to display sets. “When a fancy magazine editor or store owner visits the studio,” Nina and Jennifer explain, “we don’t want them to leave covered in clay dust.”

The large window in the room faces east, so save for some great light in the mornings and a lucky few minutes in the afternoons, the studio doesn’t get bright light. The addition of brown clay everywhere can sometimes feel dreary in moments of low natural light, and because Jennifer and Nina are both admittedly messy, their goal was to use the space as efficiently as possible to contain their things — and fight the tendency to establish any more dark corners or form piles on the floor. They have to be able to mop thoroughly to keep from inhaling dust all the time.

Taking advantage of the vertical space, Nina and Jennifer put up shelves everywhere, but still often have to throw some plywood across a couple of buckets to hold more work. They are about to receive a second kiln to help keep up with demand, and are grateful to each customer who has helped to grow their business. A place outside the home in which to think, make a mess, and experiment with new ideas is an incredible luxury in an expensive city. Jennifer and Nina are thankful to have that, “And enough orders to pay the rent!” —Annie

Photography by MONDAYS, Annika Jonssen, and Doug Young

Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
1/29
Jennifer Fiore and Nina Lalli of MONDAYS in their Clinton Hill, Brooklyn ceramics studio. The industrial door behind caused them to fall in love with the space. Photo by Doug Young
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
2/29
Looking toward the window, the wheel in the lower right corner is the studio's slab roller. Nina and Jennifer's work stations are lined up along the left side of the room.
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
3/29
An assortment of handmade planters with "plants looking for the sun."
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
4/29
View from the "clean area" toward the work space.
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
5/29
Glaze corner tools, chemicals, and test tiles.
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
6/29
Test tiles and glaze chemistry are luxuries of having an independent studio. Jennifer and Nina now have space and time by which to learn more about developing custom glaze recipes. They'll spend more time at it this winter as things slow down after the holidays.
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
7/29
Nina's newest works-in-progress waiting to be glazed.
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
8/29
Jennifer shaping some clay. Photo by Annika Jonssen
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
9/29
In the glazing area, bisqued work fresh from the kiln. In this corner of the studio the light is bright and the sink is close.
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
10/29
Jennifer's work table holds inspiration, found objects, love notes from her son, some old work, color test tiles, and "a lot of clutter."
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
11/29
Bowls drying on shelves in Nina's work area. She organizes and prioritizes pending orders with her "short order cook-style" notes.
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
12/29
Finishing touches on a custom order of dinner bowls.
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
13/29
Nina working on one of her carved bowls. Photo by Doug Young
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
14/29
Beads and clay scraps waiting to be recycled.
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
15/29
From the entrance of the studio, a dining table, display unit, slab roller, storage, and kiln unfold.
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
16/29
Jennifer reloading the kiln. Photo by Doug Young
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
17/29
Glazed work in the holding area waiting to be fired, and bisqued work waiting to be glazed. Jennifer and Nina eagerly await delivery of their second kiln to help with all the overflow.
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
18/29
"Our favorite things about the studio: brainstorming sessions; Talking Heads dance parties; late night wine." - Jennifer Fiore and Nina Lalli
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
19/29
Stacks of layered handmade mugs.
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
20/29
The shelves holding goods waiting to be packed and shipped to Blue Hill at Stone Barns.
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
21/29
A new display and storage area with custom shelves made by MONDAYS' "generous, genius" studio neighbor Tony Mullin.
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
22/29
Layered plates and new carved striped vessels on display.
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
23/29
The new display area shelves have grooves routed in them to safely display stacks of plates.
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
24/29
View from the window wall looking towards the entrance at the slab roller and shelves full of finished work.
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
25/29
Orders awaiting packing and shipping, and extra work for the next studio sale.
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
26/29
Vessels with the unique "crawl" glaze - one of Nina and Jennifer's favorites.
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
27/29
A multipurpose shelving unit for clay storage, mini-kitchen, and library functions. To the right, a custom extra-short wedging table.
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
28/29
Nina's dog Roo keeps the pair company while they work.
Studio Tour: MONDAYS, on Design*Sponge
29/29
Roo's custom water bowl.

Suggested For You

Comments

  • Nina and Jennifer make such beautiful work, their studio is great too! I always love seeing the work attire of ceramicists, they have the best paint and clay splattered overalls :)

Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.

x