On a recent trip to Portland, Oregon, I got to tour the production facility for Mudshark Studios, a one-stop shop for developing and producing ceramic objects, with CEO and co-founder Brett Binford. Binford, a well-known ceramicist, is also the owner and curator for the contemporary Eutectic Gallery, located in a storefront attached to the studios.
In their 10,000-square-foot facility (an additional 7,000 square feet upstairs is mostly for mold and gallery storage), Mudshark offers model making, mold making, and production services for projects ranging from custom designed plates for Eleven Madison Park in New York City to lighting fixtures for Portland-based Schoolhouse Electric to technical parts for the aerospace industry. Other clients include Cedar and Moss, Barn Light Electric Co., Rejuvenation, and many more.
After my tour, I couldn’t wait to head back to my friend’s house (ceramicist and painter Nicole Curcio), where I got to spend some time playing around in her pottery workshop. I won’t be showing a photo of my endeavors, but let’s just stay I tried and it wasn’t very good. I think I’ll leave the ceramic making to the experts.
Custom plates for Eleven Madison Park in New York City, which happens to be one of my favorite restaurants.
One of the displays of artistic drinking vessels at the Eutectic Gallery, located in front of Mudshark’s facility. Top row: Tim Kowalczyk and Chayo Wilson; Second row: Clara Lanyi and Allan Kluber; Third row: Kate Westfall and Naomi Clement; Bottom row: Lindsay Oesterritter (Jeff Campana green cup in the middle of her two darker cups) and Perry Haas on the right.
Kilns as far as the eye can see.
Bongs for the modern cannabis accessories maker BRNT. They are based in Canada, where marijuana is now legal.
Lighting pendants for Cedar and Moss, also based in Portland.
Miles of molds.
These hourglass shaped lighting fixtures are Alabax lamps for Schoolhouse Electric.
All photos © Rita Catinella Orrell