Design Spotlight: Jono Pandolfi

Bringing beauty to the table – that’s a key inspiration for the design of the protea bottles. It’s something we share with dinnerware designer and manufacturer Jono Pandolfi. We’re such fans of Jono’s work, we’ve asked him to create a dish especially to go with the protea bottles. Interested in getting your hands on it? You could have your chance in an upcoming sweepstakes. We’ll have an announcement and more information soon on our Facebook page. Meanwhile, here’s a look at this unique artist.



“The inspiration behind so many of my designs is in the ceramic process. Ceramics often comes down to a negotiation between you and the clay. That concept is underlying in everything that I do.”
—Jono Pandolfi

Jono Pandolfi isn’t one of those consumer-product designers who comes up with an idea and then sends it off to a factory in China to be manufactured. From what he calls the “last standing industrial building in Union City, New Jersey,” right across the Hudson River from Manhattan, Pandolfi makes the dinnerware that has smitten many a New York City chef; his work can be found at restaurants such as Terrace 5 and Café 2 at MoMA, Eleven Madison Park, The NoMad, Atera and wd~50.

“He himself sits at the wheel and shapes clay, dries it, bisque-fires it, glazes it, fires it again, and ships off finished ceramics in the very boxes that carry unshaped clay to his studio.”
Serious Eats

Pandolfi began working with clay when he was young, and in the early 2000s was a budding designer and teacher.  The restaurateur William Guidara, an old high school classmate and bandmate – in a ska band called Hydrant, as the legend goes – recognized his talent, helping make an initial connection with MoMA in 2004. Modern bud bases for the tables at Terrace 5 were a hit – soon to be sold at the museum Design store – and Pandolfi was on his way.

“I like to keep the design as simple as possible. Simple lines, simple surfaces. Think of a design as a recipe – use the materials available, practice it over and over, and eventually you’ll get it all right.”
—Jono Pandolfi

In addition to his unique designs for restaurant clients, Pandolfi has created works for Athropologie, Lenox and Calvin Klein, among others, and has a collection in the “Artists & Designers” series with Crate & Barrel. He continues to teach, as well, in the product design department at Parsons The New School for Design.

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