Robert Siegel

Ceramist Robert Siegel throws his pots into the haute-retail ring

Wheeler dealer: Robert Siegel works fast. The 28-year-old New Jersey-born potter moved to L.A. last September. By December his festive tableware was selling at Neiman Marcus. By February it was being featured at Freehand Gallery on West 3rd Street. Not bad for a guy whose USC-adjacent studio lacks running water. “I have to go down the hall to a utility sink and carry it back in buckets,” Siegel says. East meets West: Using English porcelain and modern and ancient techniques, he throws all his pieces on a wheel (the word handmade is tattooed on his arm). After earning his B.F.A., Siegel spent four months studying in Jingdezhen, China, the cradle of fine porcelain. “I saw guys making 40-foot-tall vases. It was amazing!” Dishing it: The first RS Handmade line, the Standard Collection ($22 for butter dishes to $335 for serving bowls), is a contemporary take on Fiestaware, for which he mixes his own red, yellow, green, white, and black glazes. The Ostrich Collection ($36 to $395) is more feminine, says Siegel, who envisions someday creating ceramic eyeglass frames and chairs. » Go to

Photograph by Ethan Pines