Member Since 2011
Name: James Klein and David Reid, KleinReid
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Product: Kokeshi Set
When James Klein and David Reid launched their line 18 years ago, it was with the intention of brining “a sense of design—i.e. refined form and industrial techniques—to the world of handmade pottery.” Their sweet Japanese-inspired kokeshi dolls are the latest in a long line of work that references their love of lathe-turned and wheel-thrown shapes.
What inspired you to create the kokeshi dolls?
A friend’s collection of wooden kokeshi dolls and a love of Japanese woodblock prints. Our work is always a mix of many inspirations from many eras and cultures—everything we see goes in the crockpot and cooks down.
How were the kokeshi dolls made?
We saw the dolls on a shelf at a friend’s house and looked at each other with the same aha! in our eyes. The shapes were turned on the wheel and we experimented with different hand-painting techniques (a first for us) and glazes. We love the looseness on the brush strokes against the refined turned shape.
What was the big aha! you had while creating this product?
It was the reminder that the best things we make seem to design themselves.
Can you describe your creative process?
I’d refer to the crockpot mentioned above. James and I take everything in, talk a lot, and try and design simply and honestly.
What do you love about what you do?
The creativity…and our collectors and followers that let us do what we do.
How would you sum up your aesthetic/design philosophy?
The KleinReid look is inclusive, layered, comforting, embracing, and solid. It is culled from current obsessions and a multitude of historic and cultural references, all combined to create something new and of the moment, but never trendy or cliquish. Our look is cleverly what could only exist now, as a result of sincere love for what has passed.
What are you working on next?
More pots and prints and a return of our pillow collections. Also some design projects for other companies.
What would you like to do other than your current occupation?
James: Pizzaiolo. David: Rollercoaster/pinball machine designer.