Be still our beating hearts.
Walking into Len Carella’s space for our initial meeting, it was love at first sight: warm welcome, impeccable design, and a charming canine sidekick named Lazlo.
The weather was positively lovely for March in San Francisco – i.e. overcast, windy and cold – but as soon as we crossed the front threshold, a near-biblical bolt of sunshine burst through the skylight.
And suddenly, in the kitchen, there they were:
Twenty to thirty of Len’s pieces lit up like ceramic superstars. The only thing missing was a collective gasp from the imaginary audience.
Ours would have to do.
~ San Francisco, California USA ~
The long & winding road.
Len's ceramics journey began after twenty years working as a go-to designer for some of the brightest lights in the footwear firmament -- with a degree from London’s prestigious Cordwainers College, to boot.
"I wanted to transition into something more creative", he told us. "Building my own business also appealed to me."
After training at the Parsons School of Design and a successful group show at the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center in Brooklyn, New York, Len took the leap. He traded leather and thread for clay and water, and his long-standing passion for ceramics finally became a full-time endeavor.
He moved back to his native San Francisco ("I missed the food and freshness we are so lucky to enjoy year round") and started handcrafting pieces in locally sourced porcelain, white stoneware, and Black Mountain clay.
Boldly employing elements from his past design life -- an ingenious use of leather, thread, and suede in a variety of his knotted handles, for example -- each piece is a one-of-a-kind, organic statement infused with its own personality and visual allure.
Clean, classic, forward thinking. In a nutshell, that's Len's core approach to bringing his elegant decorative accessories to life. "What are you working on now?", we ask. "What's next?"
Len smiles. Next was taking Lazlo for a hike in The Presidio.