Cool, Cool Colors of Winter

New Winter '20 CA-Modern brings together a kaleidoscope of new stories and designs
Fridays on the Homefront
The Winter ‘20 issue of CA-Modern magazine (above) is a colorful read—from Bay Area potter Jered Nelson’s highly artistic dish creations to the evergreen canopy of streetside trees shading two-dozen Eichler homes in Redwood City to the splashy hues favored by Googie designers in the mid-century.

Restaurateur Evan Rich recalls the time his shirt helped set a tone for settings at Rich Table, the casually gourmet San Francisco eatery owned and operated by Evan and his wife, Sarah.

“I came in one day in a purple shirt,” he recalls of a meeting with potter Jered Nelson, subject of a CA-Modern feature titled ‘Tabletop Theater’ in the new Winter ’20 CA-Modern magazine. Posing a question to Nelson, he suggested, “Hey, can you make me a color that looks like this?”

Describing the response by Nelson, whose dishes are used in some 30 restaurants, Rich added, “He came up with the ‘Paisley Park’ color for the [small] bite plates.”

Fridays on the Homefront
A close-up profile of potter Jered Nelson in ‘Tabletop Theater.’

The Winter ‘20 issue of CA-Modern includes a full spectrum of stories besides the one about Nelson’s highly artistic dishes, though no others contain references to the Purple One’s estate home. From the evergreen canopy of streetside trees shading two-dozen Eichler homes in Redwood City to the splashy hues favored by Googie designers in the mid-century, stories in the new issue are nothing if not a colorful read.

Nelson tells Dave Weinstein, Eichler Network features editor, how his Emeryville studio, Jered’s Pottery, was shaped by experience while training with notable Midwest ceramicists Warren MacKenzie and Paul Soldner and working at Heath Ceramics on dishes for Chez Panisse.

MacKenzie focused his instruction at Minnesota State University on the Mingei style of ceramics. With him and other teachers, says Nelson, “there was a philosophy behind it of making stuff economically, making stuff quickly, and allowing the story of the process to show up in the pieces.”

  Fridays on the Homefront
Table setting of bowls and dinner plates—all part of Jered Nelson’s California line.
 

During his seven years with Heath, says Nelson, “I started to get a sense of what the history of design here [in California] was in ceramics—the matte glazes, simple forms, stuff like that.”

“I’m not doing the same thing over and over,” Nelson said of his pottery today. “Even if I’m doing a series of 450 bowls, the whole time I’ll be refining them.”

And since 80 percent of his clients are restaurants, these refinements keep in mind the environment where the pieces will be used because, he says, “Every restaurant wants people to remember them, so they want something a little bit different.”