We are carrying a new line here at SummerHouse that we are SO excited about called M. Clement Designs! Michael Clement, owner and founder, has a beautiful line of one-of-a-kind lamps and bowls that are all hand thrown and hand painted. Each is even signed, so his designs are true works of art! And customization is available!
Michael was kind enough to do a mini interview for us so we could get to know more about him and his company!
1) Tell us about yourself and your tie to New Orleans!
I was born and raised in New Orleans, and have lived here nearly my whole life, except for the six years I spent at LSU studying Landscape Architecture. I have said that I am genetically incapable of living anywhere else. New Orleans has a great sense of community. I love how this community has left its mark on the landscape of New Orleans. Whether it is through its architecture, food, or music, this city has a soul, layers of life like I have not seen anywhere else.
2) Your lamps and accessories are incredible! How long has ceramics been something you’ve been into and how did you get into it?
In the late 1990’s I worked at a lamp company, Burts Cason, in Baton Rouge on the weekends (because Landscape Architecture is not known for its high pay). I was painting their shades and doing basic gilding and painting. It was there that Kay Cason taught me the technique of gilding. Working there sparked the fire.
In 2001, I bought a bag of clay and made a small urn for a personal project that looked like a temple and gilded it in silver. This led to me making a replica of a house for a friend, a storage box for another and a lamp as a wedding gift.
I thought back to my working at Burts Cason and recalled how much I loved going to the studio. By this time the landscape field was on the decline during the economic downturn and I decided to change fields. I put together 6 slab built lamp base shapes and showed at High Point Market.
From those 6 slab built shapes we expanded to 20 plus shapes. I found a potter in Lafayette, Bruce O’dell, who throws some of our designs on a wheel completing the line.
3) Do you have a favorite item in your current line? Tell us about it.
Like children I love all of my work equally. My favorites are always changing. Sometimes a client will come up with a unique color and pattern combination on a traditional piece that will make me see it differently.
We really enjoy the “brushstroke” technique we are doing now. It is a technique that needs to be done somewhat quickly making the pattern more expressive. We are also exploring shapes from the mid-century and are curious to see where it will lead.
4) Do you have any fun summer plans?!
Because I love working in the studio and the business is relatively young, it does not leave much time for travel. My partner and I may take a stay-cation in the French Quarter and play tourist for the weekend. It is great to see your city from a different perspective.
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Thank you Michael!
Be sure to come see his stunning pieces in person next time you’re in the area! We currently have several styles on our showroom floor! And as always, thanks for stopping by today!