Brooklyn’s Light & Ladder focuses on two things; pots and hooks. That’s it. And they do it exquisitely!
I was in London having lunch at La Fromagerie, when I became distracted from my delicious beet salad by rows and rows of shelves filled with the most remarkable pottery. Simple, but perfect. Turns out, it was an assortment of Les Guimards Stoneware that the owner had collected. Les Guimards is a family-owned workshop founded in 1976 in Burgundy, France that builds on the pottery tradition of the region with understated pieces for an elegant and cozy table. I fantasized about tossing out every plate and bowl in my kitchen and replacing them with these lovely treasures, but settled on three pieces to call my own.
Simple, organic, understated… that’s how I’d describe these beautiful ceramic pieces by The Netherlands artist, Margriet Kramer. (as always, click to shop!)
So my products are not perfect. Perfection doesn’t suit me, not in my house, not in my lifestyle, not in my ceramic products. Infact: imperfection is beauty to me!
These lovely, handcrafted bowls, mugs and other unique stoneware products are created by designer Irmina Helak in her studio in Poland. She uses a variety of techniques that give her pieces a unique character and a wonderful combination of texture, color, form and pattern. (As always, click to shop!)
Had an adventure in Ashville, NC last weekend – a place I’d describe as decidedly arty. A granola Mecca nestled beside the Blue Ridge mountain range. I loved exploring the local pottery scene, and even got a chance to participate by practicing throwing a few pots myself.
Leah Ball is a Chicago, Illinois-based artist whose jewelry business took a turn towards ceramics when she began creating dishes – just as a method of display. This blossomed into a passion, and she began to focus on the art of marbling porcelain, a tedious process she developed by layering colored slips and stark white porcelain to achieve swirling textile-like patterns and vibrant colors that go deep beneath the surface.
Originally from the beachside town of Carlsbad, California, Ball’s aesthetic foundation is in the patterns and rhythms of the Pacific coast. The kind conditions, workable sands, and persistence of the tides provided her a place to play, develop, and create, but more importantly accept the Ocean as a humbling force of renewal that privileges the maker with a fresh medium every day. Her kinship with the natural cycles of the sea helped generate a creative spirit that finds satisfaction in doing and re-doing, product in practice, and truth in tedium.
Simple. Elegant. Modern. That’s how I’d describe these lovely ceramics by Wakaka Senda, an artisan based in Okayama, Japan. She says of her work,
As I love both cooking and eating, food is always in my thoughts. My times eating, drinking and chatting with dear family and friends provide the deep colors of my life experience. This is why I try to create pieces that can reflect a cook’s wishes. I want my pieces to get close to the user’s feelings.
As a started cleaning up the yard to ready it for spring, I discovered that several of my outdoor pots and planters did not make it through our long, brutal winter. A couple seemed to have disintegrated – and one, when I lifted it, simply left its base behind on the ground. Which means I’m shopping for new pots. I’m an advocate for simply visiting your local garden center – they typically have great options; but if you’re in the mood for some digital inspiration and exploration, here are a couple fun options. (As always, click to shop)
I’ve got a perpetual love affair going on with ceramics – and am nuts for print + pattern, especially when it has a modern-organic sensibility. So, you can only imagine how deeply smitten I became when I first saw the stunning work of Lara Scobie. A native of Edinburgh, Scotland, Lara has been making ceramics for over 20 years.
“Lara Scobie’s current work is predominantly concerned with the dynamic interplay between form and pattern. This is explored through the cohesive integration of drawing, surface mark making and volume. She is equally interested in the space that surrounds pattern as much as the hue and texture of the decorated surface.”
Paula Greif is a NYC-based ceramic artist who was originally trained as a graphic designer. Her enviable and varied career began in the art department at Rolling Stone, followed by stints at Mademoiselle and Barneys NY, after which she turned to making rock videos for the likes of the Smiths. It wasn’t until later in life that she decided to take a pottery class with the intent of “remaking everything in her kitchen”. These days. she hand-makes small batch ceramics (only about a dozen of each design) of things she finds useful and beautiful. Indeed. (As always, click to shop!)
“In Chinese, the word for crisis also means opportunity”
Thus begins the bio of Lee Wolfe, the ceramic artist behind Ashville, North Carolina’s One Clay Bead. She opened her Etsy shop out of necessity, after the economic crisis in 2008, when credit was frozen, galleries were unable to buy, and her husband was laid off. Her creativity paid off, and she went on to become a top-selling Etsy ceramicist. Her tightly edited (and ever-changing!) collection of dinnerware and home decor pieces are lovely organic forms with jubilant color and thoughtful details. (As always, click to shop!)
In the midst of this absurd deep freeze, I find myself needing reminders of spring. This breathy pastel collection from Penny Spooner Ceramics serves that purpose nicely. Created in her studio in Whitchurch, England, these wheel-thrown and handbuilt porcelain or white stoneware pottery are glazed with gentle speckled colours of blue, pink, green & lilac. The subtle typography and debossed patterns add a delicately modern touch. (As always, click to shop!)
In honor of black Friday, some pottery in black and white by Half Light Honey Studio. Artist Samantha Carter creates these small vessels by hand from her studio in the foothills of Western North Carolina. At just 4″, these stunning ceramics are perfect for nestling succulents while still making a design impact. All pots run between $27-32 US. (As always, click to shop!)