Forget crypto. Ceramics are the currency of the future. Several months from now, you’ll be able to trade a Lolly Lolly mug for a Tesla, and a Mud Witch planter will get you several acres of farmable land an hour north of Sacramento. And the list goes on.
Unfortunately, a lot of the coolest ceramics right now are made in small batches and snatched up as soon as they show up on the internet. Just like in streetwear, there’s even a term for it: dirt drops. But if you’re currently craving exceptional stoneware, there are still plenty of great options out there. Here’s all the stuff we’re currently excited about (that you can actually buy right now), from some classic Japanese stoneware and charming Danish mugs to the photogenic plates you’ve probably seen on your Instagram feed.
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The Fashion Goth's Choice
If we had to name a fashion goth’s holy trinity, it would probably be Rick Owens, Comme des Garçons, and Ann Demeulemeester. And, while Demeulemeester no longer makes clothes for her namesake brand, she does produce ceramics now. Based off the concept of chiaroscuro, these shadowy plates will make any color-hating, minimalist folks extremely happy.
The Ever-Appealing Standby
Made in Japan’s Nagasaki Prefecture, Hasami’s products are mixed with local clay, giving them a slightly more rustic feel than most porcelain. Their wares have clean, stackable designs, and they come in a small range of classic shades that tend to hover in the earth-tone category. Due to the timelessness of these pieces, you probably know someone who’s casually obsessed with Hasami. (Just ask around.) Follow their lead, and get yourself a new serving bowl.
A Luxury Tea Pot
Once your Hasami bowl situation is squared away, consider investing in a teapot that can function as a centerpiece for your breakfast table. The striking profile and off-white glaze will make any day feel slightly sunnier.
A Fun Danish Option
If you ever find yourself in Copenhagen with some time to spare, check out Studio Arhoj. They specialize in unique, colorful glazes and make a huge variety of cups, plates, and sculptures such as this canary-yellow ghost. We aren’t entirely sure what this ghost’s purpose is, but it makes us feel good when we look at it, and you could probably use it to store some rings.
A Mood-Lifting Mug
Prefer something a little more functional? Pick up a Studio Arhoj mug. The mugs come in a variety of fun glazes, and we find their bluish shades particularly soothing.
The Plates You See Everywhere
Whenever we open Instagram, it feels like we see another East Fork plate. Hand-made in North Carolina, East Fork’s pottery has an enduring aesthetic, and their pieces might be exactly what you picture when you close your eyes and whisper “ceramics.” Polished yet rustic, there’s a reason why this company’s wares (in a rotating range of glazes) are constantly in demand. Start will a plate set, and go from there. (Just be aware that some orders will take 6-8 weeks to ship.)
A Lovely Mug To Hold You Over
If you spend your mornings sitting by a window, stirring lukewarm oatmeal with your index finger as you wonder when you’ll get a chance to own a Not Work Related mug, console yourself with an equally nice vessel from East Fork. This taro shade really does something for us.
Subtle, Elegant Dishware
Made in Orange, County California and inspired by traditional Japanese ceramics, these plates from Nobuhito Nishigawara’s WRF Lab provide just the right amount of statement for your table. Minimalist in nature, but with charismatic, glossy glazes, this is the sort of dishware you can use daily without feeling as if you’re being too overbearing with your ceramics obsession.
The Perfect Pitcher
All of Raawii’s ceramics are immediately appealing, and that goes double when you actually see them in person. This pitcher from the Copenhagen-based company, for example, has a straightforward geometric design, and the simple-yet-standout aesthetic works in any context from a high-end restaurant to your bedside table on laundry day.
Your Matching Cups
It’s kind of tough to drink out of a Raawii jug, so you’re going to need some separate drinking vessels. Try these ceramic cups that work for anything from tea to mezcal and come in a few different colors.
A Mug That's All About The Handle
Get deep enough into the world of ceramic mugs, and you’ll eventually find that handles are, in large part, what sets these things apart. (See, for reference: Lolly Lolly, Base Ceramics, and Workaday Handmade.) That’s why we’re fans of this mug from NYC-based Mellow Ceramics. Why is it still available? You honestly don’t have time to worry about such things. Pick one up, and pretend you’re wearing a mug-shaped ring.
A Very Soothing Jug
Faye Toogood is a British artist who works in sculpture as well as fashion and home design. Her pottery features calming washes of ocean blue against a white background, the ceramic equivalent of a seaside home in Cornwall. They tend to sell out and then get marked up on other sites, so this is a rarity.
How To Drink Your Coffee Every Morning
On the most fundamental level, ceramics are attractive because they’re well-made objects that exude care. Care goes into making them, and you feel that care when you hold them. Apologies for getting sentimental just now, but that was the easiest way for us to explain why like these undersized mugs from Pigeon Toe ceramics. Rough on the outside and glossy on the inside with a comforting heft, these are the weighted blankets of drinking vessels. Mix and match a few different shades.
Some Lively Tableware
What we like about Sylvia K Ceramics is the contrast between this Brighton-based studio’s earthy terracotta and their vivid glazes that occasionally look as if they were haphazardly smeared on top. It’s a charming aesthetic, and if you’re looking for something a little larger than these bowls, check out this serving tray with leather handles.
A Little Etsy Find
Today on Etsy Watch, we have a ceramicist who has an extremely limited offering. Keira Thompson of Oakland-based OTY Ceramics has several bowls, mugs, and planters available, and we’re fans of all of these things. The speckled mustard-yellow bowls in particular are deserving of a home, and that home might just wind up being one of ours. Because there’s only one set for sale. We have a feeling this listing won’t last long.
Bright, Pleasant Everyday Bowls
Another West Coast Etsy find, Sunnys Shop LA produces ceramics with just enough flair to rise above the ordinary, which is to say the right amount of flair. Understated, yet eye-catching, your kitchen could use a set of their stackable bowls on a little wooden stand.
Where To Look When Every Maker Is Sold Out
MANTEL doesn’t produce ceramics, but they do carry goods from various makers, and they’re worth checking out if you aren’t emotionally equipped to deal with another online shop that’s completely sold out. This Portland, Oregon-based store has some Base Ceramics products, for example - and, once again, you’ll notice the importance of a quality mug handle.