Etsy Journal

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5 Inspiring Ceramics Shops to Discover Today

by Valerie Rains

Feb 13, 2019

Planters, tea sets, wall decor, and more: Explore all the breathtaking ways makers are putting their own stamp on this versatile material.

Handmade porcelain planter from Buchlyvie Pottery holding a cactus
Photo by: Buchlyvie Pottery

Every day our community grows in unexpected and delightful ways. For our Fresh Shops series, we spotlight new and noteworthy sellers who have been on Etsy for a handful of months or are waiting for those first few sales. Translucent porcelain or earthy stoneware, wheel-thrown or hand-built, unglazed or carefully painted with intricate patterns: The elements that add up to a unique ceramic piece are as limitless as pottery’s practical applications. For proof, look no further than the offerings from these five Etsy newcomers—working in lighting, wall decor, dinnerware, tea sets, and more—each of whom has established an approach and an aesthetic all their own.

Buchlyvie Pottery

Thanks to their bold color palettes and modern, streamlined shapes, every item in this Scotland-based ceramics shop possesses outsize power to perk up a room. The dangling moon phase wall hangings and windowpane-patterned dinner plates are just two striking examples of where this evolving family-run endeavor, launched 35 years ago by potter Alison Borthwick and now helmed by her daughter Eilidh (and Eilidh’s husband, Craig), is headed.

Object Lessons

Following your passions can lead you down unexpected paths—something San Francisco UX designer and ceramic home goods maker Jay Wong experienced firsthand two years ago, when a budding interest in container gardening kick-started a desire to make the pots her plants would grow in. Today, while Jay still has love for leaves, her free time is largely spent in the ceramics studio, where her output has expanded to include mugs, bowls, and serveware, in addition to her minimalist planters.

Iris Lighting Studio

Cast concrete, perforated tin, woven fibers, pleated paper, even a ruffle of fabric fluttering in the breeze: The fact that Iris and David Rapaport can coax a single material (clay) into resembling all of these textures and finishes is a genuine feat—one facilitated by the Israel-based duo’s two decades of experience crafting functional light fixtures in an array of styles. With a collection this eclectic—and electric—it’s no wonder interior design pros are among their most devoted clients.

47 pots

Pattern junkies and fans of intentionally irregular, proudly hand-built shapes will go wild for the work of Australia-based potter and ceramics sculptor Nikki of 47 pots. Her delicate, wobbly-edged tea sets and condiment servers practically vibrate with dense arrangements of dots and dashes, many enlivened with genuine gold glaze.

Lea Nigel Studios

Whether you’re looking for a single standout art tile to frame and hang or a batch of custom-glazed field tiles for a backsplash or bathroom, your order is in expert hands with Andrea Lea and James Nigel of the Michigan outfit Lea Nigel Studios, two university-trained ceramics pros who’ve committed their lives to clay. Each high-fired, made-to-order slab is cut to precise dimensions, individually pressed and glazed, and held to the topmost standards of quality and durability.

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Valerie Rains image
Valerie Rains

Valerie Rains is a senior editor at Etsy.