Inherently beautiful for their imperfections and expressive characteristics, handmade ceramics are the antithesis to uniform mass-production. Sitting at the intersection of craft and design, these four collections by OWIU Goods, Emma Louise Payne, Mottoform and MUD Australia transform simple objects into stunning works of art. 

OWIU Goods by OWIU
Ceramic plate with tall rim by OWIU Goods

Signature pieces for the studio include flat and wide plates with tall rims that serve both a classic and contemporary feel (left)…

Ceramic multi-use canister with fitted lid by OWIU Goods

and multi-use vessels that feature a securely fit lid (right). Both shown in Rose Quartz.

Since founding their architecture and design firm OWIU (an abbreviation for the Only Way Is Up) in 2020, Amanda Gunawan and Joel Wong (Singapore expats now based in Los Angeles) have been crafting thoughtful and nuanced interiors that are “not just built to last, but built to evolve,” with the lived experience influencing their purposeful and well-intentioned aesthetic. This considered approach extends to the studio’s recently established ceramics and homewares line, OWIU Goods

Complete matcha set by OWIU Goods

The Complete Matcha Set includes a cup, canister and matcha bowl that can be mixed and matched. Shown in Beaches glaze.

Wanting to help alleviate their team’s stress and strengthen its camaraderie in the midst of the pandemic, Gunawan and Wong initiated pottery nights for those that were interested – an activity that quickly became “a living, breathing practice” on its own. Now, the studio offers textural and emotive hand-thrown objects, inspired by nature and embodying both tangible and visceral memories. From one-of-a-kind multi-use canisters to matcha sets, serving bowls and dinnerware sets, the glazed ceramics are categorized by colourful landscapes (Beaches, Meadows and Forests, for example) and precious stones and celebrate the beauty that can be found in everyday objects. 

London Plane by Emma Louise Payne
London Plane vases by Emma Louise Payne

Intentionally irregular in shape, Payne’s London Plane vases have a satin-like unglazed exterior, glossy glazed interior and showcase a casual sophistication.

British ceramicist Emma Louise Payne, who earned her MA in Ceramic Design at the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen, has been pushing the boundaries of her preferred medium from her studio in Henley-on-Thames since 2017, creating custom handrails, valet stands, lighting fixtures, tiles and other objects for architects and designers to complete projects in both the hospitality and residential realms. With the launch of her debut homewares collection, the artist moves into a more conventional and readily available territory.

Refillable London Plane candles by Emma Louise Payne

London Plane candles are hand-poured and the perfectly imperfect vessels can be refilled or used as containers or small sculptures when empty.

Her London Plane collection – inspired by and named for the towering tree that lines streets and populates parks in the city of London – includes dinnerware pieces, vases and candles, with each piece expressing an organic and fluid form that reflects the plane’s abstract bark patterns. Handmade from slip-cast porcelain and rendered in six warm, earthy tones (Sage, Moss, Lichen, Pollen, Heather and Bark), the nature-inspired designs are equal parts functional and sculptural, rustic and elegant, and encapsulate Payne’s singular artistic vision. 

Beak Series by Mottoform
Beak series carafes in short and tall sizes by Elizabeth Salonen of Mottoform

The Beak series by Mottoform comes in short and tall heights, each with an elongated spout.

With a pronounced spout that resembles the beak of a bird – and hence its name – the Beak series of short and tall carafes by Mottoform founder and multidisciplinary artist-designer Elizabeth Salonen is at once whimsical and refined. The handmade slip-cast ceramics feature a texturally soft white matte glazed exterior and clear gloss interior and can be used to serve both hot and cold liquids (as well as a vase for fresh blooms). 

Tablescape Detroit featuring Beak series carafes

The Beak series will debut along with other handmade objects by Elizabeth Salonen and Claire Thibodeau at Tablescape Detroit.

The striking vessels will make their official debut in September when they grace the tables at Marrow restaurant for the Tablescape Detroit event during Detroit Month of Design. A “sensorial dining experience” that aims to merge food with craft, the evening will include a five-course meal served on sculptural one-of-a-kind wares made exclusively by Salonen and fellow ceramic artist Claire Thibodeau to “challenge and inspire” the chefs. Afterwards, the ceramics will be available for purchase in a limited run of approximately 50 (with the potential for future custom orders). 

Numbers by MUD Australia
Colourful ceramic Numbers by Vince Frost for MUD Australia

MUD Australia Numbers by Vince Frost come in two sizes and 19 signature colours.

A collaboration between Vince Frost (founder and creative director of his eponymous Sydney-based design agency, Frost*collective) and MUD Australia, the Numbers series is a playfully fresh take on the humble address identifier. These “numerical interpretations” have a graphic font with a bubble-like appearance, lending a strong sculptural quality that seamlessly blends design with art. 

Four Exceptional Ceramics Collections That Elevate the Everyday

Numbers Large in Bottle

Four Exceptional Ceramics Collections That Elevate the Everyday

Numbers Large in Citrus

Four Exceptional Ceramics Collections That Elevate the Everyday

Numbers Large in Ink

Four Exceptional Ceramics Collections That Elevate the Everyday

Numbers Large in Orange

Developed in small and large sizes, the individual digits (from 0 to 9) can be used to mark exterior and interior doors or simply as a cheerful objet d’art. A lighthearted yet stylish alternative to the more common metal figures or mounted plaques, these Numbers are handmade-to-order from porcelain and available in the brand’s 19 signature colours, plus the muted grey tone of its unglazed zero-waste Rescued Clay (made from the trimmings and spillage from porcelain slip casting, this recycled clay is carbon neutral and diverts upwards of 1,500 litres of clay from landfills yearly). 

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