Home Tour | Bob Dinetz
We recently had the privilege of touring the home and creative space of local potter, Bob Dinetz.
A graphic designer by training, Dinetz turned to pottery to create objects that match his personal vision and tastes with no client to serve except the customer who falls in love with them. His work is deeply inspired by Japanese pottery collected during his travels and found, one of a kind pieces discovered at local flea markets. His creations are the perfect blend of form and function.
Keep reading for a glimpse inside his impeccably styled Bay Area home and a behind the scenes look at his workshop and creative process.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how your interest and career in pottery started.
We always collected pottery from flea markets and eventually a trip to Japan. In 2013, I decided to take a Saturday class at The Potter’s Studio in Berkeley. I really enjoyed it and kept signing up for the next session. I never intended to have a pottery business — I'm still a graphic designer today. But I had to do something with all the pieces, and friends became interested in it, and then I was posting on Instagram and then made a web site.
Forgetting about the commercial side of pottery for a minute, I view ceramics as a long-term passion. I tend to stay with an idea for while, trying to really understand it, instead of jumping from one thing to another. I will make pottery as long as I can — with the hope of continually learning and getting better.
You have such a lovely and impeccably appointed home in Piedmont. How would you describe your design aesthetic?
Our house is mostly vintage modern pieces collected over the last 30 years — in a way, it’s layers of experiences.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
For pottery, I really admire mid-century work from Sweden and Denmark — potters like Berndt Friberg, Gunnar Nyland, Carl Harry Stålhane, Lisa Larsen and Sting Lindberg. As far as our house, it’s whatever interests us. We’re inspired by the usual things like travel, photography and flea markets.
Your home is filled with a unique edit of one of a kind finds. What is your favorite piece in your home?
A few of our favorites are a pair of bent wood chairs by Henri Lancel, 70s dining chairs from the Pompidou Canter auditorium and a painting by California artist Richard Haskell.
We love rituals at Elsie Green - Do you have a ritual for starting your day or centering yourself to make space for the creative process?
Our dog, Milo, gets us up early, so I love a super-slow morning with coffee, yogurt and lots of time to look at news, accounts I follow and absurd animal videos. Then I wander out to the studio (our one-car garage) to see how pieces are drying from the night before and what the plan is for the day.
What have you learned about yourself while working in the art and creative space?
I think it’s that I fit best into an informal work environment. I like being part of a loose-knit team, and, at the same time, working independently. I have almost always worked by myself whether graphic design or pottery — extended work sessions organized by check-ins with collaborators, customers or clients.
Share your favorite cafe, restaurant, and shop in your neighborhood with our readers.
Doña for tacos and sopa de lima. Ramen Shop is amazing ramen and other dishes. And East Bay Clay in Richmond for locally-made clay!