Amanda Shine isn’t just in the business of ceramics – she’s in the business of creating community. As the founder of The Setting NYC, Amanda’s gorgeously simple bowls, dishes, vases, and more are a homage to the memories she’s collected of entertaining friends and family at home. She’s even turned her SoHo studio into a place where she hosts intimate gatherings, during which 5% of every sale is donated to City Harvest and their work to fight hunger in New York City. We’re firm believers of making your workspace work for your lifestyle – and we love how Amanda’s transformed hers into a place for people to congregate, connect, and feel a sense of budding community that lasts way after they’ve walked out the door. In this age of text messages and tweets, in-person connection is everything.
Take a peek inside this creative’s studio and learn what keeps her inspiration flowing – then use her Autumn recipe to break bread with your own crew…
To get the creative juices flowing I...
Try to exercise each morning and sleep eight hours.
Favorite object on my desk:
Fresh flowers in my 212 vase.
At 10:00 am I am usually:
Jumping on the train to my ceramic studio.
My favorite current project is:
A collection of pieces for an art dealer’s wedding.
My favorites workbooks/ paper goods:
Anything from Paper Source.
Soundtrack in the studio:
I’m loving Alessia Cara this summer.
Most common visitors:
My boyfriend and close girlfriends… sometimes my dog.
The snack we always keep on hand:
Fresh fruit and sparkling water. And sometimes Anadama bread (recipe below!), which I bake in the studio.
Easiest way to brighten up the space is:
Keeping it clean and having a few nice candles.
Favorite way to spend the lunch hour:
Catching up on emails or a bite with a friend.
Favorite design neighbors:
Karen Gallo and Jennifer Williams.
My top distraction is:
Books always in studio:
Georgia O’Keefe and Joan Didion.
Organizational item I can’t live without:
My bowls! Clients send me photos of their desks to illustrate how much more organized they are now. Having beautiful, handmade ceramic bowls for paper clips and miscellaneous items definitely elevates a workspace anywhere!
Anadama bread is a traditional New England dark-yeast bread that is extremely simple to make and beautifully paired with any autumn soup or salad. The dough is very sticky and is not kneadable; just spoon it into the loaf pans. It will take awhile to rise properly – sometimes three to four hours. Just cover with Saran wrap and be patient. It’ll rise. Serve it hot, and then later with soup or as toast.
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 cups water
1/2 cup molasses
3 Tbsp butter (at room temperature)
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup warm water
1 package dry yeast
4 1/2 cups bread flour
Place the cornmeal in a large bowl. Boil two cups of water and pour hot water into the cornmeal, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Let sit for 30 minutes.
Add molasses, salt, cinnamon and butter and combine. The cornmeal water should still be warm enough to melt the room temperature butter.
Put 1/2 cup of warm water (slightly warmer than body temperature) into a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let sit for a few minutes. Then stir it to gently combine. Let sit for another 5 minutes.
Add the yeast and the water to the bowl with the cornmeal and everything else, and mix to combine. Add the bread flour, a cup at a time, stirring after each addition. You will end up with something of a goopy mess.
Butter a couple of 5” x 9” loaf pans. Spoon the dough mixture into the pans as best you can; it’ll be sticky. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for several hours, until it doubles in size.
Heat the oven to 350°F and bake the breads for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer or knife blade comes out clean. Let the loaves cool for a few minutes, then turn them out onto racks to continue cooling.