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Rajiv Surendra, who you may know as “Mean Girls” legend Kevin G., has released his first-ever pottery range called Journeyman Pottery in collaboration with PlantShed, a New York City-based florist shop.
Featuring classic terracotta and white vessels handmade in Rajiv’s Brooklyn studio in the style of his mentor, Guy Wolff, the exclusive collection is the result of years of training and dedication to the art. The Journeyman Pottery collection has been designed and developed in Surendra’s Brooklyn studio, paying homage to Wolff’s mentorship through a special stamp that reads “For Guy Wolff, RPS, Brooklyn.”
Surendra’s interest in pottery first surfaced at around the age of 7 after overhearing his relatives reminiscing about the cookware and pottery that was used in their kitchens in Sri Lanka in the ’50s, including red clay pots made on the side of the roads. From then, his love for the craft grew.
“In high school, I spent almost every lunch hour of my four years there at the pottery wheel,” Surendra told Apartment Therapy. “I’d eat my lunch in 15 minutes and then throw pots for 45. In college, I returned to my high school regularly to use the wheel and occasionally teach fundamentals to freshmen,”
Learning under the guidance of master potter Guy Wolff — who has a legion of celebrity fans including Oprah and Martha Stewart — every summer for almost 12 years, Surendra has created a collection that perfectly embodies both Wolff’s iconic shapes and styles and PlantShed’s passion in highlighting nature’s true beauty.
“My favorite shape to make is one that Guy refers to as the “Peale Pot” — it is a copy of a flowerpot from a famous painting, ‘Rubens Peale with a Geranium,’ commemorating the very first geranium brought over to America in 1801,” Surendra said. “The pieces in this collection are all versions of the shapes that Guy has been making for years — they are the apprentice’s version of the master’s wares.”
Surendra has practiced chalk art and calligraphy for more than two decades, so line work played a big part in the collection.
“My twenty-plus years of doing calligraphy, first a hobby and then a profession, have absolutely played a role in the creation of these flowerpots,” Surendra explained. “Guy [Wolff] is continually talking about the ‘line’ of a pot, referring to its silhouette and the overall architecture of the pot. It needs to be fluid and the nuances of the shapes that can make one pot look dumpy and another elegant are so subtle. I’ve learned to see and understand the elegant lines from practicing calligraphy.”
Journeyman Pottery’s inaugural collection ranges from $25 to $250, and the collection is now available exclusively at PlantShed retail locations throughout New York City.