Collections-2: Sasha Brastoff
my collection of Sasha Brastoff ceramics
My last post on collections was about chickens. I have a few ceramic chickens in my kitchen too, but nothing like our friend, Robbie...her collection is quite stellar. There's something about collecting ceramics. They can be dainty and take you back to a forgotten era of civility and refinement or they can be objects that you use daily. I've always had a fondness for all things ceramic. I collect sets of dishes, vases, figurines, salt and pepper shakers, outdoor pottery, candle holders, etc.
One of my favorite collections is my pottery by artist, Sasha Brastoff. Brastoff lived in L.A. after World War II and designed pottery and sculpture during the late 40's, 50's 60's and early 70's. He had a store in West L.A. When I was a little girl, I remember my Mother taking me to Sasha's 'seconds' shop on Sepulveda between Olympic Blvd. and Santa Monica Blvd., right next to the railroad tracks. This is where he sold his pieces that were slightly damaged or not perfect enough for the department stores or china shops. My Mother doesn't have any of her Sasha pieces anymore....I'm not even sure what she purchased during those days, I only remember walking around the showroom and loving all of the modern whimsical horses, fish, ballerinas, Harlequins, Eskimos, etc. that Sasha painted on his glazed pieces.
So, for the past 20 years, everytime I go to a garage sale, estate sale, thrift or antique shop I look for Sasha Brastoff pieces. They've gone way up in value, so I rarely find a piece I can afford now-a-days. I have various ashtrays, plates and ginger jars. My collection is not large, but I have a variety of designs. I'm still looking for the Polynesian tiki ashtray and the ballerina pieces I admired as a child. Sasha's pieces usually have a signature of "Sasha B." and a little rooster design on the back of the piece. There is a biography of Sasha B. that includes photos of many of his creations. I have the book and refer to it often for artistic inspiration. Many of the leaves that I've painted in my tiki and flora exotica paintings are modeled after Sasha's nature pottery.
Other artists (and disciples of Sasha's) during the same era, turning out some beautiful modern pottery, were Marc Bellaire and Georges Briard. I did inherit a gorgeous frosted glass serving platter from my Mother with decorations by Briard. I also have an ashtray with a Marc Bellaire design. If you see some great Sasha B. pottery and it's under $20, buy it for me! I promise to reimburse you!My prized possesion though is my poodle ashtray by Sasha. This piece works with two of my collections....pottery and poodles!
Labels: Los Angeles