Combining high end modern design and handmade craftsmanship Stonedware Company creates smoking wares that are made to be displayed as art in your home.
Stonedware Company (artist Ariel Zimman of RELM Studios) creates design centric smoking wares for the aesthetically inclined. At home on your coffee table or book shelf, items like the Geopipe are made for display. In addition, each piece is designed with ergonomics in mind, making the shapes fit and feel good in the palm of your hand. Each ware is individually crafted from porcelain and finished using food safe glaze. All gold is 22K. No filler here.
Can you tell us a little bit about what makes your new crystal GeoPipe collection unique?
Each GeoPipes is special for a few reasons, I’d say starting with the process in which they are made; each piece is made from liquid clay (slip) and with the process of mold making (slip-casting), hand trimming and glazing, every piece is a little different and truly an individual work of art. By the nature of this hand to material process there is a direct connection between maker and object, and later object to owner.
No two pieces are every exactly the same, and I think in a world of mass produced consumer objects there’s something pretty special about being able to share that connection with a possession. Especially a possession with such an intimate use, being held and brought to ones face/mouth. This is also why I designed the GeoPipes with ergonomics in mind. In addition to GeoPipes looking neat on a table they also fit nicely in ones hand.
Having lived in Portland for a few years now, what are the biggest changes you have seen in the cannabis community?
When I moved to Portland in 2009 finding and buying cannabis seemed like most other places on the East coast I had lived – you needed to know someone, “a guy” who you’d have to meet up with, or invite into your home, on their schedule to buy an ambiguous bag of weed. In 2015 recreational cannabis was passed and for a while it seemed like a new dispensary was opening on every block of the city. You (anyone 21+) could now walk into any one and choose from a selection of tested, regulated products.
The idea that there are so many different types of cannabis and other infused products, that have the ability to make you think and feel different ways has been a whole new learning experience even for experienced users. I think that giving consumers these options and providing access to cannabis allows for social stigmas to slowly begin changing. Cannabis can and I believe should, be compared to alcohol instead of an illicit “drug”. It seems that most people, at least in Portland, agree with this sentiment.
How would you spend an ideal day in Portland? What are some places you love to visit, and where do you find inspiration?
An ideal day in Portland is a day spent outside at either a local park, or the river with my dog Bernadette. Inspiration is sometimes found where I least expect it. Sometimes it’s while visiting the Portland Art Museum or local galleries, while other times it’s found in furniture magazines or nature.
I like to take different pieces of ideas, feelings, shapes and reinterpret them with the material I am most familiar with, clay. Sometimes inspiration is merely a gateway to other great ideas found while working with the material.
Are there any cannabis strains that you prefer? Ones that you avoid?
It’s interesting that even though I have been smoking for over a decade now, I feel like my cannabis education and personal testing is still underway. I constantly like to try new strains, and it totally depends what I’m doing while smoking if I prefer a Sativa or Indica. Currently you can find Black Lime Reserve for chill out time and Ambrosia Haze for creative endeavors on my coffee table next to my personal collection of ceramic pipes.
You mentioned that having to compete with tech startups for space can be really frustrating for artisans and small businesses, how do you think this will change the way people create work?
It is a unfortunate reality that many artist and other small business owners have to in some way battle the rise of tech jobs and companies that are able and willing to take spaces that would otherwise be allotted to makers. They are able to pay top dollar to set up their few desks and sofas in a space that might otherwise be filled with equipment, material and production space. I don’t think the situation is unique to Portland, and unfortunately I think the overall effect changes the “vibe” of the city, and the communities that are within.
Personally, this is an issue I’m dealing with while trying to find a new space to expand my small business without increasing my overhead to a point that I can’t afford to have a business at all. Like many others I might have to go farther outside the city just to find a space to create out of that won’t break the bank.