Jono Pandolfi Studio

New Local Ceramics: A Visit to the Jono Pandolfi Studio

Since PRINT first opened its doors we have been serving thousands of dishes on Heath Ceramics, creating an elegant ode to California design. Recently our new Chef Gary King has integrated some new ceramics from Jersey City’s Jono Pandolfi Studio. Gary had heard about the Pandolfi ceramics from industry friends and had run across the pieces at several restaurants around town. He is a big fan of the unique shapes, irregular handmade appearance, and minimalist design. Since we were in need of new pasta bowls, we placed an initial order. We made our way through the Holland Tunnel to pick them out and see more of what this local ceramist is all about.

As it is described on their website, their studio housed in a large warehouse in Union City, NJ…

“…overlooks the Hudson River and Midtown Manhattan and has a team of seven artisans working collaboratively every day to make their dinnerware. More than 16 steps go into their 100% handmade products, from rolling and forming to glazing and firing each piece…”

We got to see all seven artisans in action and view each part of the process on our tour with Jono himself and their resident studio dog.

 

Details about their raw materials are also described on their website:
“…clays are formulated in the Northeastern region of the US out of completely non-toxic and food safe materials. Which they then form and fire all of their products to stoneware temperatures (over 2000 degrees fahrenheit) with measures in place to ensure uniformity and durability for every firing…”
which you can see below in it’s raw form and then after it has been put into a mold. The molds look gigantic in comparison to the actual plate since it will shrink a fair amount during the baking process in the kiln.
 
Jono told us that business has grown rapidly in the past few years and it has been difficult at times to keep up with the demand. His mission and story are described on their website:

 

“When I started this company in 2004, I had a simple mission: to provide unique dinnerware options for the hospitality industry. I started small, with one wheel and one kiln, collaborating with chefs, taking risks, and learning from my mistakes. Since then, my team has spent more than a decade testing clay bodies and glazes in an effort to provide our customers with the most durable product possible—wares that can handle the abuse of high-volume kitchens and commercial dishwashers, and stand the test of time. In our light-filled New Jersey studio, we form, fire, and ship much of our dinnerware to the world’s best restaurants. Our goal remains unchanged: to provide restaurateurs and serious home cooks with dinnerware that sets their restaurants and dining rooms apart from the rest.”

 

and we couldn’t agree more!