As much as those crazy climate change deniers try to convince you otherwise, climate change is real, evidenced by the ever-changing landscape of Los Angeles. Where there was once overgrown plant life and lush green lawns, those lawns are now sparse and feature dried up patches of dirt and dust. Our drought-stricken land is not exactly the best environment for plants, unless of course those plants are xerophytes, which require very little water and survive in desert-like conditions. Grog Clay Co Highland Park
There has never been a better time for artists Kyla Hansen and Brian Porray of Grog Clay Co to throw themselves into the Highland Park enclave. Grog Clay Co specializes in exotic xerophytic plants. Besides functionality and practicality, Hansen and Porray attribute their love of xerophytes to their weird aesthetic. “We like them because they’re so sculptural,” says Porray. “They’re like underwater creatures. They’re very strange.”
Hansen and Porray, sculptor and painter respectively, have come up with a way to merge their love for xerophytes with their love for art and pottery making. Each plant comes with a beautifully handcrafted clay pot, making an already bizarre-looking plant even more unique. “We think about plant form,” says Hansen. “We try to pair them in ways that they mimic each other or compliment each other.”
Currently Grog Clay Co. is open by appointment only with no plans yet for a full shop. Although they’ve toyed with the idea of it, they say their hearts are in it for the artistic aspect, and not necessarily the business part. “We want this to be a local, underground thing. If you know about it, you know about it. [It’s a] word of mouth, weekend thing,” Porray says.
Their private location hasn’t stopped business from coming in though. They’re already selling to wholesalers and have grown a devoted following on Instagram.
With over 400 plants (and counting), Grog Clay Co has become the place to go for the most curious and peculiar xerophytic plants. All of the plants are ethically sourced, mostly from South Africa. “People have never seen these things before, and then the pots are paired with them in this aesthetic way,” says Hansen. “It definitely draws people in, the strangeness.”