You will never run out of ways to be surprised at what lies behind the concrete and brick walls of New York City. A prime example of this phenomenon is KleinReid, located in one of the more up-and-coming and rapidly-developing neighborhoods of Queens, Long Island City (you might have seen them in the Times recently).
Since the early 90s partners James Klein and David Reid have been selling their art, evolving into what has become a very established and popular handmade pottery business offering an eclectic variety of original pieces perfect for any shelf, really.
I paid a visit to the studio’s headquarters and got to see some really cool behind-the-scenes of what goes on before these beautifully constructed pieces are sold. I had a really good time talking with one of the main sculptors Aaron Swank who happily showed me how it’s done. If you have ever messed around with clay before you would know it takes over 48 hours to complete just one piece, but with the help of molds, lots of hard work, and extensive Fleetwood Mac playlists, they are able to produce the works in larger quantities for enjoyment en masse.
After the pots are pre-fired, then comes the glazing process. The artists will paint on a color that will end up looking nothing like the final result, and after the clay is fired for a second time a totally beautifully shining pot will come out ready for display.
There are so many amazing signature works that KleinReid is known for, it might be kinda hard to decide what to get (I want it all!). My favorites have to be the multi-use “Platter” in the Hybrid Collection that also serves as a flower pot (it’s the coolest thing you will ever see!), the “Chateau Bud Vase” in the Hawthorne Collection, the hand-painted Japanese Girl (on sale!) from the Kokeshi Collection, and the “Yes Tree” silkscreen prints that are “an ode to optimism” for any bare wall in need of some attention.
Oh, and did I mention the studio’s views are pretty neat, too? KleinReid’s overlook of Midtown Manhattan at night:
Now that you know where to order your next porcelain vase, get lost in KleinReid’s collections and spice up that room you’ve been meaning to decorate, or you know, order that perfect birthday gift for mom you’ve been trying to find for the past decade.