Recent Posts

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My interview with Jonathan Adler


Recently, Jonathan Adler's press director contacted me and said (more or less),"The Prince of the Pottery Wheel loves your blog and wants to know if you'd like to interview him?"

After picking my jaw up off the floor, I wrote back "ABSOLUTELY!" and inquired if 114 questions would be too many. I was told 10 would be a healthy number, and the first five are here:


How did a nice Jewish boy become so fascinated with WASP decorating?

Waspy snobbism is sooooooooo yesterday, but, my God do those Wasps know how to decorate!

Your new bedding collection rocks harder than Gene Simmons on a Tilt-a-Whirl - which side of the bed do you sleep on or do you and Simon switch it up?

People who switch it up freak me out. I have clients who say they have no chosen side and I just think they must feel so un-moored!

I'm fully committed to the right side of the bed--my right hind paw needs to float free and it's always poking out (adorably, I think) as I toss and turn, while Simon slumbers beatifically on the left side. He lies down, falls asleep immediately, makes no noises, never moves, and wakes up with perfectly tousled hair, like a Kennedy on a sailboat on the Vineyard. It's infuriating. Liberace sleeps in the middle which is a sign that he thinks he's the Alpha and I suppose he's right.

Thanks for the kudos on the bedding collection. I had a collection a few years ago that was licensed and sold through Bed Bath and Beyond and, though I liked it, I wanted to take the design and production back in-house so I could crank up the quality and design it without any concerns about the needs of a mass retailer. The best thing about my job, the true reason that I've worked so hard for so many years, is that I get to make whatever I want without asking anybody's permission.


I would give up an internal organ for your Blakeley Sofa in Lyon Camel leather and a Buenos Aires Floor Lamp. What are your two favorite pieces from your current offerings?

Sophie's Choice much? I am lucky to make tons of stuff and I love all of it. Truly. I am usually most in love with whatever is newest. But I suppose the piece that I'm most fond of, that I think is the most legacy-ish is the Giant Dora Maar vase. I've said before that I think good design should look like it's just supposed to be that way, like it was always there, like it's been uncovered rather than created. I think I achieved it with this piece. It looks like it's just supposed to be that way.

I heard a fab interview on Fresh Air with the dude from Queen who wrote We Will Rock You and he was talking about the "Dum-Dum-Krrr, Dum-Dum-Krrr" from that song, the foot stomping bit and how people always assumed that he just recorded a stadium cheer, but, in fact, he wrote and recorded it but it just felt instantly familiar.

Design junkies are dying for a third season of Top Design. Is it a possibility or should an elegant epitaph be written?

I'd rock the elegant epitaph. Perhaps it could start with "See ya later, Decorator".

p.s. My use of the word Decorator rather than Designer engendered an internet fatwa directed at yours truly. Never understood that. As far as I'm concerned you can call me whatever you want (as I'm sure you and some of your readers already have) and I wouldn't care as long as I'm comfy with who I am. And I am. I think that being a potter and being married to a window dresser (two of the most mockable careers imaginable) has given me a thick skin.

Speaking of Top Design - in three words, describe your initial reaction to this outfit:

Fun, hilarious, memorable. K-Dubs is fantastic and gorgeous and creative and never plays it safe. Her attitude was that if she was going to be on TV she wanted to look great and have fun. Internet haters should get a life.

Gotta' get back to my potter's wheel. Cheerio!

My undying love to the King of Clay Jonathan Adler and his PR goddess Starrett Zenko for their everlasting fabulousness!

Now, hop on over to Curbed National for the rest of the interview...

53 comments:

Julie @ Chapman Interiors said...

Rainssssssssss oh this is SO flattering!! exciting!!

nkp said...

He's as charming and witty and smart as I imagined he would be. I love hearing his "voice" and the sassy answers to your brilliant questions. Really Madame R., this interview is you at your very best. No one else could have come up with a better compilation of questions. The stuff we REALLY want to know. You are a shining star, girlfriend. Congrats!!! And that potter is one smart cookie for hooking up with the likes of La Lampshade. I feel a partnership coming on.....

erin@designcrisis said...

I have a JA bedding set from his old BBB collection and it's deluxe. Stoked for the new collection.

Congratulations on the interview! You two are a match made in heaven.

A Perfect Gray said...

babe. the questions are just as entertaining as the answers.

wonderful piece...

Robin said...

Awesomely entertaining interviews, I knew you wouldn't ask him the same old, same old.

Alcira Molina-Ali said...

This is fabulous! Totally happy chic!
And your questions are brilliant -- what a fly repartie.
I adore you both -- though perhaps you even a bit more ;)
Cheers and carry on, I'm off to log on legitimately at Curbed -- tired of being an anon over there.
Alcira

nerochronicles.com

Jessica said...

so wonderful! I love the first question!!

Mackenzie {Design Darling} said...

Congratulations! You asked awesome questions and of course JA was dripping with charm as per usual. Bravo : )

David said...

I'm adding JA to my fantasy dinner party guest list. (You're already on of course)

david john said...

amazeballs raina!

ooops, i meant, you are now a serious journalist! :)

big hugs to you, and have fun in NY. I can't wait to read all about your trip.

X
David

Kristen said...

luck-yyyy! great interview...wonderful questions, and wonderful answers.

christine {bijouandboheme} said...

Oh my goodness this was divine- the repartee beteen the two of you was brilliant. Charming as all get up from both of you.

SGM said...

Your FQ is off the charts! Congratulations on the big score (all 3 of them). This was an excellent interview!

my favorite and my best- MFAMB to you said...

i just jizzed happy chic seeds all over the screen.

Kerry said...

Makes me want to adopt him. Wonder if he'd give me a nice piece of pottery if I did :)

Danielle said...

Best interview questions ever!!! Such a refreshing departure from the status quo, brown-nosy interviews I read all the time. Really fun read and looking forward to the second part.

Appletree said...

I bet he sends you the sofa and/or lamp.

Great work!

sherri said...

damn, girl. how cool are you???

MyLittleHappyPlace said...

I'm so glad you didn't play it safe with your questions - they were perfectly thrown - just the hint of a curveball.
...And, if I didn't love JA before, I certainly do now - what a charmer!

Nita {ModVintageLife} said...

Great Interview!!! Your questions allowed him to shine through. Very Entertaining. You did an awesome job! Best interview I've read in a long time. And I am not just saying this. I would not have commented at all if I'd thought otherwise.

Savvy Gab said...

Such a happy chic read! Brilliant interview! You two really hit it off! Congrats!

sarah, flourish design + style said...

Brilliant Raina.. you two are a match made in heaven, x

Keri Batchelder Hoffman said...

Seriously - I just got your blog link from JA on FACEBOOK!!!! Great interview.

Sharon @ Real Estate Resuscitation said...

A+ on the interview.

Kathy said...

I'm going to put the New York Times Thursday Home section on notice...they need to hire YOU! A great read..(Curbed as well)...Congratulations.........k

Luciane at HomeBunch.com said...

WOW! I love JA and this interview make me love him even more!

Great job!

xo



Luciane at HomeBunch.com

Design Junkie said...

Well done! He's a charmer, fer sure, as are you. Hope you get his hubby on next!

The Zhush said...

I enjoyed this so much! From the bed side preferences to the elegant epitaph...both interviewer and interviewee's wit, warmth, talent and intelligence shine right through the screen here!
XXX

Sarah (La Maison Boheme) said...

Awesome interview! xo - Sarah

Tonia of Chic Modern Vintage said...

Raina, what a fabulous interview! Congratulations!

Karena said...

Raina you and Jonathan melded perfectly in this fabulous interview. His personality (and yours) came shining through!!

Now I am dying for Dora Mar!! See what he would take in trade! I'm having problems with one of my legs so I could give it up! Ha!

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

susie q said...

You. Are. My. Idol.

julietsblog said...

Such a great interview! You have a clear and consistent voice, Raina, and I hope you are feeling validated!
xoj

Modern Country Lady said...

On top form! So enjoyable.keep the snark coming, way to go- love it.

lisaroyhandbags said...

what a fun interview! I enjoyed your witty questions as much as his answers! This is the best interview I've read in a long time! :)

Lacey from Weekends at Home said...

Best. Interview. Ever.

This is why they contacted you. They knew you wouldn't have all those super boring/standard questions. Instead, you created an interview that is actually (gasp) interesting to read.

Leigh said...

Your star is on the rise, hon. And this is why.
So excited for you and proud to know you!

Sketch42 said...

I must say- He and you were both awesome.

Design Elements said...

great - your questions, JA's answers! fabulous interview!

Bromeliad said...

Would LOVE to meet the child you and JA would spawn.

classic • casual • home said...

That made me like him so much more and I already liked him (you are so entertaining, too). I am going to his store this afternoon to buy something...anything...its all cool.
Mary Ann

Alexis said...

Swoon! I think my dream weekend would be hanging out with you and JA.

maison21 said...

fun, raina!

Camilla @ Designalogue said...

Fabulous.
In every way!

Raina said...

Kristen, Danielle, Luciane, Design Elements, and Classic Casual Home - Hello and welcome to each of you and thank you for your kind words!

quintessence said...

So much fun!! Entertaining and informative to boot!!

ModFruGal said...

What fun Raina! JA never disappoints..and I personally LOVED "see ya later decorator" so I was sad to see it..and eventually the show, go.

Designers' Brew said...

fantastic interview--agree with everyone else that his personality (and yours!) really shone through. Loved it!

Acanthus and Acorn said...

Raina,
Home run and oh so fun!!! Saw some magnet boards, pens and stationary by JA at Hallmark today...you would likey...alot!
~R

Alexis L., The Studioist said...

You have completely graduated to the A-list. *slow claps*

sweetbittertart said...

This is so awesome!! : )

Bri@Meyouandawiener said...

Just want to tell ya I read all your columns. That is all. Have a nice day!

Louise (Table Tonic) said...

He TOTALLY came to your party! Love that. You owned him.
He sounds like a real sweetie petitie...