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Robb Design Portfolio: Hard to Figure

Roland K. Madrid

Walter Lowry never envisioned carrying Lladró porcelain products when he opened TableArt (323.653.8278, www.tartontheweb.com) on a hip stretch of Los Angeles’ Melrose Avenue nearly three years ago. His home decor store targeted Angelenos with less traditional tastes by stocking furnishings, flatware, and other works by avant-garde designers such as London’s Bodo Sperlein. But when Lowry learned that Lladró (www.lladro.com) had partnered with Sperlein to create a line of chandeliers and tabletop items, his opinion of the Spanish manufacturer, known for its porcelain figurines, changed. "I was excited that Lladró had decided to do something new and fresh, and to reach out to a different crowd," says Lowry, who has carried Sperlein products including the Black Forest dinnerware patterns. "Bodo’s designs are very simple and Zen-like. His designs also have legs. They are not going to be a flash in the night." rel="nofollow"

Lowry’s store is now the only non-Lladró U.S. retailer selling the new Re-Cyclos Magical series, which includes such Sperlein designs as the black porcelain Canvas Vase Flower Twig (far left, $900) and the Canvas Vase Flowers Tapestry (left, $1,800). The Tapestry vase consists of high-gloss white porcelain embellished with hand-applied porcelain petals. "The delicacy and number of petals offer a good example of the incredible skill of Lladró as a porcelain manufacturer," says Lowry. "The skills that exist there, combined with artistic direction from Bodo, have created phenomenal results."

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