A graphic designer, interior designer, and stylist, Michael Walters sees himself as a problem-solver who thinks in terms of composition. His clients turn to him for his eye and art direction in their most meaningful spaces. Lately, he has been connecting clients directly to the wellspring of ceramicists, painters, and artisans he follows on Instagram and discovers on Etsy. Here, Walters introduces three artists he has recently engaged for three clients.
PHOTOGRAPH BY STEPHEN SCHAUER
Painter Jason Trotter
of Trotter Studio, Los Angeles
“I love Jason’s work. The client is up in Timber Cove, Sonoma County. We wanted to make the home look very 1960s Big Sur, just a tiny bit hippie and very Sea Ranch. We loved the idea of inserting Barbara Solomon’s Supergraphics from the late ’60s — their iconic shapes and colors — throughout the house. It was a vein Jason was already working in, and he was happy to work in our colors. It was a way to get the movement of those eras and conjure a bit of those ocean blues. He’s a former Hollywood publicist, but as an artist, he’s going to be big. He’s also done a series for one of the Proper Hotels in Los Angeles.”
Joe Cariati Glass
Glass isn’t something I’m particularly drawn to, but it was so perfect for my Corona del Mar client. These backlit shelves have all this beautiful side light. I reached out to Joe because many objects don’t fit on standard 15-inch shelves. And if you put in something that fits, it looks too small. Joe gave me a layout and we had a conversation about what if they were in this order and we did the colors this way, about not repeating a color or a shape and adding milk glass. We did eight pieces in three colors in graduated shapes and sizes. The results really shine on the shelves, and the clients are thrilled.”
PHOTOGRAPH BY STEPHEN SCHAUER
by Warner Walcott, Ojai
“I’ve been a fan of Warner’s forever. He sells at high-end boutiques and is collected. I asked him where to find the best assortment of his pieces and he said, ‘Why don’t I just make stuff for you?’ The clients’ home is in Orange County, five blocks from the beach but very contemporary.
When I came in, everything leaned smooth and shiny. What’s coming out of Europe now is antiquity, textures, and primitive forms. My job was interpreting a house by the ocean in a more creative way. For shelving in an open hallway, the clients wanted to include portraits of their daughters holding starfish and shells. In an atypical way, the objects around those represent land and water. These three blue pieces are 15 to 18 inches high and placed with wood turnings and pieces of coral.
PHOTOGRAPH BY DANE TASHIMA
Warner and I picked the trio of shapes we liked together first. He sent me the colors of the different clays he uses, which determine the glaze colors. We used one of the pre-glazes he did as the anchor and designed the other pieces around it.
The client had a budget and didn’t have to shop retail. It was a matter of letting them know they could have things made that are special to them in colors, shapes, and materials that spoke to them like these do.”
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