The elusive human touch present in pottery is one of the things that has made the art form so alluring as of late. This tactile component combined with earth ware’s idiosyncrasy and unique position at the intersection of art and functionality means that ceramic artists have carved out their own niche in the design world and are more in demand than ever.
The most special ceramics, however, are handcrafted with love by artisans who work on commission—some may have a signature aesthetic or design, but each item is made to order and stands apart, so you can be sure that the piece you proudly display in your space is yours and yours alone.
Here, find Vogue’s picks of the best contemporary ceramicists around the world who are coiling, glazing and firing the dreamiest pieces of stoneware to shop for your home.
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New York-based artist Kassandra Thatcher works with clay as her primary medium, crafting pieces that can be divided into the functional and non-functional categories. The latter group consists of a series of sculptural lamps, some regular fixtures in her collection and others seasonal additions. Each one is breathtakingly abstract and dynamic in form—inspired by the fluidity of improvisational dance: looping, graceful and spatially aware.
Available at Kassandra Thatcher
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Malwina Kleparska’s range of vases, candle-holders and ceramic sculptures all come with a special touch—her fingerprints. The Swedish designer leaves the indents behind as evidence of the handmade, individualistic quality of her products. Kleparska works mostly with stoneware clay and employs traditional hand-building techniques like rolling and pinching, creating ceramics that stand out for their geometric shape and fun colour schemes.
Available at Malwina Kleparska
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Genevieve Ang of home-grown label Gellyvieve creates small batches of handcrafted stoneware with the intention of slowing down. Her work—which operates at the junction of art and design—comprises an unexpected range of vases and mugs imbibed with personality thanks to the peculiar faces engraved into them. Architecturally trained, Ang sees herself as a toymaker and her creations as toys, dressed primarily in shades of pastel and pristine white.
Available at Gellyvieve
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It’s hard to believe that Jade Paton picked up pottery as recently as two years ago. While her pieces tend to be functional and are meant to be placed in the home, they could just as easily live in any gallery. Her cups and vases (which she calls ‘vessels’) defy expectations with their fluid, anthropomorphic shapes and quirky handles—and are as diverse as human bodies.
Available on Jade Paton’s Instagram
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Adrien Miller’s handmade bowls are as fun to look at as they would be to eat out of—each one has a carefully shaped human face or body protruding right from the centre. His functional ceramics allow for the simple act of preparing a snack to be filled with art and beauty. Miller also creates beautiful ceramic busts, which are sustainably made using clay he picks up from studios that would otherwise go to waste.
Available on Etsy
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Eat & Sip
While Liyuan and Shahrani from local tableware store Eat and Sip are not ceramicists themselves, they bring an impeccable curatorial eye to the table. Sourcing handcrafted pieces from a community of specially selected small-batch artisans around the world, the brand provides their favourite independent creators with a platform to showcase their work while allowing buyers to pick from a limitless range of eclectic ceramic pieces.
Available at Eat & Sip
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While homegrown fashion label Ong Shunmugam made its first foray into the world of ceramics with a Peranakan-influenced line of luxury porcelain last year, the brand’s latest release is an updated collection of tropical-inspired tableware. Crafted entirely by hand by artisans in Bali, these new ceramic pieces (including dishes modelled after dragonfruit) are fun, playful and burst with colour.
Available at Ong Shunmugam
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Omelet Trees Studio
Husband-wife duo Nigel and Sarah created Singaporean brand Omelet Trees Studio to find an “oasis of calm” within their lives in our bustling city. Today, they make one of a kind tableware pieces by hand. The slow, careful form of craftsmanship practised by this studio means that while their pieces aren’t always available—each one is made with care and consideration, with delicate folds, dimples and pleats adding an artisanal touch.
Available at Omelet Trees Studio