About Bret Bortner
I have been designing pottery since the early 1970’s. At the end of 2001, after twenty years of designing and producing pottery (see History), I closed my production facility in Elgin, IL and began designing for B.I.A. Cordon Bleu of S. San Francisco, CA. With the exception of a number of Crate & Barrel exclusives, this is the collection of white porcelain dinnerware, serveware, and tabletop accessories I created for them.
I believe that good design is "tributary" in both senses of the word: it pays tribute to, reveres, that which inspires us, drawing upon the essence of a body of work or a style without simply imitating: and in designing something new, one creates a small tributary stream that feeds, along with other "streams" of thought, into a larger flow of ideas that may, ultimately, define a new style, a new movement.
If there is an underlying theme, a design "theory," in my work, it is the desire to find within each piece, each form, its essence; to create an object that imparts a simplicity and a humility that bring a sense of beauty and serenity to any environment.