Conversations with an Artist: MH Ceramics
Adi Mizrahi and Ron Hellmann of MH Ceramics are multi-hyphenate artists. They are collaborators in their hand thrown contemporary ceramics collections while individually, Adi is an accomplished photographer and Ron an imaginative production and set designer. They bring a broad creative point of view to their pottery craft with nods to mid-century, Palm Springs aesthetics and balanced neutrals. We spent time at their studio in Los Angeles and fell in love with their approach to design where experimentation leads to edited selections of one of a kind and limited edition artful home goods.
Describe the moment you realized art fed your soul.
Ron: I’ve always been a “maker”. Even as a child I felt the need to create things– whether it was clothes, food, jewelry, art… If I wanted something I would figure out a way to make it myself. My mother was an artist and my father was an engineer and inventor, so that was always encouraged, but it wasn’t until taking a jewelry making class during my second year at university that I had the realization that I didn't want to study medicine; I needed to find a way to make art for a living. The next semester I dropped all my pre-med classes (without telling my parents) and re-enrolled in the arts program at my school.
What themes do you pursue in your pottery craft?
Adi: We are always drawn to making “useful items” such as bowls, jars, lamps, plates and trays rather than purely decorative pieces. We try and put a lot of thought into the function of the piece– how it will be used and incorporated into the person’s life.
Organizer Trays. Store your everyday things. Fresh herbs, weed flowers, salt, cotton balls, hair ties, pens. For kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, vanity, and office.
Tell us about what influences the direction for your craft.
Ron: Scandinavian mid-century ceramic design was an early influence– I still enjoy collecting those pieces, but lately a 70’s and 80’s Italian furniture aesthetic has been creeping into my mood boards. Everything wants to feels rounder and chubbier! I also really love the spontaneity and imperfection (or wabi sabi) of Japanese pottery.
How has your work developed over time?
Ron: If you look over our body of work I feel like our more recent pieces have more spontaneity and feel less labored over, which is something we’ve made a conscious effort to pay attention to.
Adi: We’ve also moved away from pre-made purchased glazes and are working more to develop our own unique glazes and colors. It's a lot of chemistry and testing!
What’s the most indispensable item in your studio?
Adi: We use so many tools to create our ceramics, all of which are indispensable: the kiln, the wheel, extruders, glaze, etc. But fundamentally, it would be the raw clay– without the clay there would be no ceramics.
Do you collect anything?
Ron: I collect vintage ceramic pieces and we have an awful lot of table linens, fabric remnants and bedding.
What’s the most inspiring thing you’ve seen, read, watched or listened to recently?
Ron: ”How to Change Your Mind - what the new science of psychedelics teaches us about consciousness, dying, addiction, depression and transcendence” by Micheal Pollan. I’m inspired by the idea that everything is connected.
What advice would you give to your younger self about your artistic journey?
Adi: Make for yourself and not others!
Ron: Embrace the imperfect
Stash Jars. A most stylish ceramic canister with a gotta-touch-me chubby orb lid is your new fave to store everyday things. Functional design with many uses...
What role has music played for you during COVID or while you work?
Adi: There is always music in our studio, but we listen to so many different genres. I’m more of a chill ambient and trance music type. Ron’s taste runs more to jazz and classical.
Ron: Right now I'm really liking this band from Houston, TX called Khruangbin. Check them out!
~ Bonnie & Jeffrey