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GRAY Magazine: A Ceramic Studio Founded in a Portland Garage Heads to New York

Posted by Thomas Renaud on

LGS makes its Manhattan debut at this month’s Shoppe Object trade show.

Garages have been the places many bands established themselves, but ceramics studios? Not so often. Enter LGS (short for Little Garage Shop), a firm producing clay-based creations—and yes, founded in a garage—by Thomas Renaud and Noel Hennessy in 2015. Relocating to LA’s Glassell Park neighborhood, after that old Portland garage, LGS sets itself apart by the way it makes its pieces: Renaud, a New York– and Los Angeles–bred marketing executive, takes the first pass, usually on the wheel, then hands off the work to Hennessy, an art director and stylist trained at Boston’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts, who adds embellishments. They trade duties until they feel the piece is complete. “Our work is not just one person, one voice,” Renaud says. “It’s very much a duality.”

LGS cut its teeth selling its tableware collections at craft fairs, occasionally opening the garage as a pop-up shop. In its new digs, it’s shifting gears toward one-off sculptural pieces, and from August 10 to 12, LGS will show for the first time at New York’s Shoppe Object trade show, introducing two collections alongside Chen Chen & Kai Williams, Dusen Dusen, Fredericks & Mae, FS Objects by Fort Standard, and other established brands.

Viewers will be smitten by Tephra, LGS’s organic, almost ancient-looking collection of stoneware lighting, vessels, tableware, and a mirror all informed by volcanic rock and Washington’s Mount St. Helens. Each piece’s distinctive exterior is achieved by hand-carving, making every one unique. There’s also the Studded series, whose columnar vessels are garnished with rows of pyramid-shaped projections, much like those on a punk leather jacket. “It feels more like art-making than ceramic-making,” Hennessy says of the collections. “They’re exactly where we want to be.” 

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