Boyd Sugiki and Lisa Zerkowitz of Two Tone Studios met while in graduate school at the Rhode Island School of Design and have been working together ever since. As we step into their backyard studio on a sunny day in West Seattle, it’s apparent that the beautiful craftsman-style space reflects the pair’s artistic values. Color, craftsmanship, and attention to detail come to life in every corner of the space. The large windows provide a lot of natural light and a second story office/gallery space overlooking the hot shop allows for a clean space for guests and clients to gather. The studio walls display objects from Two Tone’s humble beginnings, including a miniature blow pipe and wooden paddle that were part of their “Desktop” hot shop, an office desk transformed into a scaled-down glass studio where they made their first work.
While both artists have individual art practices, most of their time is spent on their contemporary glass line, Two Tone Studios. They’ve owned the tabletop design business for a decade and have remained successful through the economic crisis and the current age of mass produced blown glass. Sugiki and Zerkowitz stay ahead of the curve by continually evolving their designs – making small changes and new developments over time, while making sure to keep the quality consistent. They are experts at paring down their design elements while keeping the aesthetic current.
One of the key factors in their designs is their trademark playful use of color. Their two-tone bowls, platters, tumblers, and vases have a simple yet unique character. The pair remark that the positive emotional reaction people have to the color palette is one of the main reasons people buy their work.
It’s amazing that the two handle all aspects of their art practice and business without the help of assistants. To market their work, they participate in a few major exhibitions each year, taking them across the country.
Vetri is excited to showcase both their individual work and a large sampling of Two Tone designs during their Artist Spotlight in June 2018.