Morgan Peck is an artist, designer and new mama living in Los Angeles. She creates ceramic works in her backyard studio, including our handheld mirrors (created especially for R•P), vases, and small desktop sculptures. Shop our selection of Morgan's work here. Interview conducted by Liz Blood. Photos courtesy of the artist.Reference • Point: What are your current "reference points" or creative perspectives from which you're working now?
Morgan Peck: Lately, I have been looking at furniture designers Jean Royere and Garry Knox Bennett. I have also been making tiles for mosaics and thinking of ways to integrate them into furniture. There is a lot of amazing mosaic-covered furniture out there—especially on Etsy. I love an overall pattern!
R•P: Do you have reference points from early years that still influence your work today?
MP: The earliest influence I can remember is Legos. I made houses with them—two story houses and furniture to go inside. As I got more and more blocks, there started to be a town with streets and it covered my entire bedroom floor. I still think about them when I have a bunch of clay parts to connect. Starting with multiples of several shapes and combining them in different ways helps me break out of a rut and come up with new ideas.
R•P: What is an unexpected source from which you draw inspiration?
MP: Freeway overpasses and industrial architecture influence some forms I use and create. Spending time on the freeways in Los Angeles provides lots of opportunities to contemplate how overpasses are suspended and see how graceful engineers can be. I find functional items to be the much more interesting than art, in general. Using objects I love in my daily life is very fulfilling, especially when something is handmade.
R•P: Tell us about the ceramic vases and mirrors you make that we carry.
MP: I love Minoan and Venetian vase silhouettes and the vases for the shop are directly influenced by these styles. I like the contrast of those classic European shapes and the farmhouse style American spongeware—sort of a high-and-low mix. The mirrors of Ettore Sottsass were a big influence for my handheld mirrors. His playful use of shapes make the mirror almost a second thought, it's a sculpture, first, and a mirror, second. I also thought about the way architect Carlo Scarpa uses circles and negative space. Probably influenced by a lot of Asian architecture, he uses circles as windows, skylights, and entryways. He doesn't take any negative space for granted. I love how he uses each plane of a wall or staircase as an opportunity to change the feel of the space in a different way, not assuming that the weight of the floor has to feel like more than the ceiling. Of course, I just make some small mirrors that reflect little of these things, but I am always imagining something larger.
You can purchase Morgan's work here.