Ceramicist's flame ware a hot item with Bay Area chefs
By Amanda Gold | September 23, 2015
The first time Travis McFlynn walked into Camino, Russell Moore barely looked up from his station.
“I know I might be jaded,” says the Oakland chef, “but when you have a restaurant, a lot of people come in to try and sell you stuff.”
McFlynn was peddling his handmade ceramic flame ware — that’s pottery speak for clay cooking vessels — and the sculptor wanted to create something for Moore to use. After all, the restaurant centers around live fire cooking, and the chef had amassed a collection for just that purpose from around the globe.
McFlynn was certain his would be better.
It’s this kind of bold confidence that has propelled the 38-year-old artist to ceramic stardom in the past few years. That, and the fact that his sleek yet rustic work speaks for itself. His custom creations have earned a place in many of the Bay Area’s most popular kitchens, from Chez Panisse to the newly opened Cala.
The potter’s wheel is where McFlynn — a former chef himself — has found his connection to the food world, using the restaurant industry as his gallery system and its chefs as both his collaborators and publicists. And it’s working. His little business has grown so rapidly that he can no longer do this alone...
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