The ceramist Reinaldo Sanguino became obsessed with clay as a boy in Caracas, Venezuela, where he would go down to the river and shape the mud with his hands. Now 49, he came to the United States in his 20s to study at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine for a summer and, after laboring for years on the trade show and art fair circuit, was discovered around 2012 by David Alhadeff, the founder of the New York City-based Future Perfect design gallery. Sanguino, who often starts with a simple hand-built or wheel-thrown clay form, makes stools, hanging wall pieces and tables, as well as monumental vessels, in his Long Island City, Queens, studio, then transforms the material with a glazing process to produce one-of-a-kind creations characterized by saturated shocks of colors, metallic glimmers and hints of oatmeal, with knotted or stitched-together pieces of fabric, yarn or burlap for texture. This two-foot-tall vase, which suggests an amphora, has craggy holes on the sides for branches or blossoms; unlike some art potters, he intends for most of his work, however precious, to be used. “I’m inspired by the rough beauty of bodega flower stands, which are staffed by immigrants,” he says. “The point is always to be real.” The Other Series vase, $10,000, thefutureperfect.com.
Photo assistant: Brandon Chau