This fall, I’m fully taking advantage of weather that makes me want to stay indoors by learning a skill I’ve always admired: pottery. I love how mindful it is, it takes an immense amount of concentration and precision, and it creates everyday objects that I feel encourage thoughtful use.
Every Tuesday like clockwork, I go to a local studio, roll up my sleeves and work with my hands—molding, stretching and carving out clay to try and create something beautiful or useful. I look forward to the ritual of my weekly classes as a way to unwind, while simultaneously challenging myself.
The challenge aspect of it is very real. I’m always on the hunt for inspiration for a new style of pottery to try, or for objects to hold me over while my own items are yet to be fired up—I do need a cute mug for all those nights in with a hot cup of tea that are inevitably on their way. Here’s my roundup of ceramics brands that I just need to share with the world:
I’m obsessed with Rachel Saunders pottery for its functional and simple, yet still totally playful vibes. My favourite creation of hers is her Agnes Martin Pink Woman Vase. Each one she creates has a completely unique female form, which I find very poetic. It’s perfect for showcasing a flower you bought yourself from the last farmers market of the season. She sells found pottery as well, which she presents as “an offering of objects with past lives intended to become new heirlooms and further the dialogue around influence, design and sustainability.” Reducing, reusing, and recycling can be very beautiful.
Franca is a multicultural design studio in Brooklyn that draws inspiration from their diverse backgrounds to create playful and modern ceramics. What makes Franca so playful are their original, hand-drawn patterns that they create for their ceramics. From their sassy boob pattern to their dog pattern (inspired by one of their own dogs), everything that comes out of their studio is irresistibly cute.
I find that Mimi ceramics puts an unexpected twist on simplicity and functionality. Her pottery is precise and modern and features cheerful pops of colour to keep the funk alive! I can just imagine myself using her colourful dot tumblers on a rainy fall day and instantly lighting up.
Another vitruvi team member found this potter at a craft fair in Seattle and needless to say, her hands were full with stunning pieces that she brought back to share at HQ. Amelia Davis, the creator of the brand, is mainly inspired by rituals. She wishes to create foodware that will turn a cup of coffee into a grounding and slow morning ritual, and inspire people to cook nourishing food instead of going out. That’s something I can get behind. I try to sip mindfully when I enjoy a hot drink from one of her stunning mugs.
Barter’s design stems from the belief that if you look out into the natural environment, you will find abundance in materials and nature’s design. Their Sharing Bowl Series is a favourite at our HQ—if you scan the vitruvi office, you’ll definitely catch a Barter bowl or two used as catch-all bowls on our desks. We love that they highlight the different materials they use for this series, leaving them as natural as possible. They offer the bowl in 9 different shades of stoneware.
There you have it—5 ceramics brands that will hopefully encourage you to indulge in carefully crafted objects that will make your little daily rituals more pleasant. Hey, maybe these even inspired you to go the extra mile and start taking up your own pottery lessons (would recommend!).
Words by Rita Ovis. Photo by Brit Gill.