There’s something beautiful about the sentiment of a handmade object. Particularly ceramic vessels, which are imprinted with the intention of the hands that originally formed them. Whether purchased from an artist or artisan, collected on enduring journeys or offered as eternal gifts, a vessel may exchange hands numerous times in its life; every piece possessing its own story to tell.
An ancient art form
Being one of the oldest human technologies, pottery represents an age-old compulsion for humans to create; to apply our own force to clay in order to make something both functional and beguiling. From Japan to China, Korea and beyond, clay holds important meaning and significance in many cultures. The recent resurgence of pottery has urged a return to the handmade, showing a renewed collective interest in slow creative process and affinity for natural materials that has resonated worldwide.
Form follows function
Bringing ceramic vessels into your home is a wonderful way to invite aesthetically pleasing though useful items into space. Where handmade jugs, mugs, vases, and tableware may serve everyday purposes, they do so while offering designed elements of form, texture, and body. Though, that isn’t to say a ceramic object has to always fulfill multiple roles. The sole purpose of many ceramic works is their presence alone — which may offer a desired feeling, meaning or reverence.
Safekeeping for the sentimental
The objects we choose to surround ourselves with determine the atmosphere of our homes and ultimately become extensions of us. Ceramic wares grow to carry our memories and imbue our spaces with feeling. Let them take up room on bookshelves, dining and coffee tables, vanities, and mantelpieces, and breathe a life of their own, into yours.
Where to purchase ceramics
There are many ways to find ceramics to call your own. Firstly, do some research and seek out local makers in your area — supporting local artists will enrich not only your home but your creative community too. An abundance of practicing contemporary artists and makers are also producing incredible work available to purchase online. A few people who are making seriously beautiful things include Rachel Saunders (Canada), Nicolette Johnson (Australia), Yoon-Young Hur (Seoul/New York), and Mother of God Ceramics (Amanda Rivera and Diana Welch, USA).
Secondly, scour antique stores, second-hand stores and online marketplaces for unassuming treasures waiting to find a home. Half the fun is not knowing what you’ll find. And thirdly, while scrolling Instagram, keep a note of gorgeous stores like The Summer School who sell both handmade and vintage ceramic wares. Once you start looking, it’s impossible to stop.