Emily Reinhardt—appropriately known as The Object Enthusiast—is inspired by loose change and stray jewelry, plants in need of room to root and haphazard pens strewn across work-covered surfaces. The ceramics designer and shop owner is inspired by the reflexive post-toil toss of our house keys, by the hazy morning reach for our favorite coffee mug—any instinctive need of a ready receptacle.
“When I go to people’s houses it can be as simple as a certain pot that they have a plant in or their favorite mug—you know, just something that I know that they treasure—those are the objects that made me think, “How can I remake that”; or “How can I make that with clay if it’s not a ceramic item?” says Reinhardt.
For Reinhardt, home is tangible. Home is the assortment of constants that follow her with each change of address, muffled by plastic bubbles many times over. The same way that familiar faces adopt distinct reminders over time, each piece holds a memory, of a time, a place, perhaps even a person. In the tradition of assigning memories to items, ergo keepsakes, Reinhardt creates practical beauties to which her customers can apply their own import and purpose; one woman’s ashtray may be another woman’s paper clip tray.
“I think that’s why I just love making stuff, because I know that people really value certain objects in different ways,” she says.
We caught up with Reinhardt to talk purpose, practice, and the thrill of working with unchartered hues, functions and clientele for her upcoming feature in our tenth printed issue, which you can pre-order here.
All photos below taken by Kaley Cornett.