October 27 2010
Lucia van der Post
A name to watch is Lou Rota. She’s never going to be a mainstream global brand because her style is too quirky and offbeat to make it into the big time, but her work will appeal to those who have an eye for the small and the special.
Lou Rota’s skill is to take the discarded and the unloved, whether an old French school desk, a single plate or bowl or a piece of glass, and transform it, with collage and coupage, into something truly desirable. I first saw the ceramics that she’d applied her talents to at Caravan, a tiny shop in east London, but now she has been taken up by Anthropologie, the quirky American brand that arrived in the UK about a year ago.
Now she has created a special range of ceramics which are exclusive to Anthropologie (first picture). All reflect her passion for the natural world, so that bees, chameleons, bugs and hummingbirds wander across the surface of the plates. These are clearly not for those who like grand matching sets from the posh old pottery companies – Lou Rota’s pieces are for those who love the particular, the personal.
Although each piece is lovingly made, they are not expensive, coming in at £16 a plate. As well as Anthropologie, Lou Rota’s plates are stocked at Caravan and Liberty.
If you like to lay a slightly quirky table, a million miles from the formality of the grand old names, then Anthropologie is a good place to look. As well as Lou Rota’s pieces, Rebekah Maysles, a New York-based artist, has embellished some ceramic plates with her own highly colourful designs (second picture) and at £10 they must be a bargain. Anthropologie’s take on the home scene, you will have gathered, is on the light-hearted, alternative side – uplifting and joyous.