One of the most iconic form of ceramics is known as “fanciful” Staffordshire figurines. Originally created in the Victorian era, these pieces were painted by unskilled workers and have a folk art-like feel. Because of their humble nature, they were geared towards the middle class. “You never would have found one of these in the home of royalty,” antique dealer David Lackey said. Nowadays, they’re highly collectible—and not to mention an influence for contemporary ceramic artists.
It’s the final stop on my unofficial “Instagram tour” that highlights some of my favorite feeds worth your follow. So far, I’ve highlighted paper artists, illustrators, embroidery artists, and sketchbooks that are inspire me—and others—with their incredible artistry. Last but not least, I’m chronicling some of the best ceramic artists on Instagram.
My love for planters is well documented on Brown Paper Bag. And on Instagram, too—one of the happiest areas of my apartment features a couple of thriving succulents in creature-shaped pots. Emma Jo Alford of Minty Mountain continues this trend with her dazzling animal ceramics. The hand-sculpted hedgehogs, rabbits, and bears are adorably sleepy creatures that have gold accents and in some instances, fancy accessories. The polar bear planter, for instance, has an icicle headdress. How regal!
Drips are in. Sweet, sticky drip cakes are one of Pinterest’s 2017 wedding trends, and the same goes for ceramics. The latest drip pots by the London-based Kinska use her signature minimalist palette and tiny faces that are overrun by dribbles of black and white glaze. But rather than looking messy and haphazard, it adds visual tension to the otherwise sweet, tranquil faces—like these pot people are slowly melting from within.
Leah Goren is an illustrator known for her awe-inspiring sketchbook. That spontaneous, painterly-style works on more than just paper, though. She’s transferred her visible, energetic brush strokes to hand-built illustrated ceramic plates and vessels. They too feel like something out of her 2D illustrations, but with these, they’ve got an added practical purpose of displaying fresh cut flowers or store your favorite rings. Personally, I wish she’d make another one of the tiger dishes.
Leah sells her one-of-a-kind ceramics in her online shop. But if ceramics aren’t your thing, Leah also has a Skillshare class called Illustration & Inspiration: Keeping a Sketchbook.
Yoshiko Kozawa of Studio Giverny creates lovable animal planters that’ll be your (flower) buds’ best bud. Whales, giraffes, and alpaca all carry the weight of these plants on their back. But don’t worry—they’re happy to do it—and in turn, brighten your home.
Yoshiko first crafts her pieces from porcelain and then coats them in a shino glaze combination. Some, like the alpaca, include a fun pompom tail and tassel earrings. See her entire selection on Etsy. (h/t: So Super Awesome)
If you’ve read this blog over the past year, then you’ve definitely seen illustrations by Madalina Andronic. She’s talented in both 2D and 3D, with her latest endeavor being “tableware essentials” like cups, bowls, and plates.
Ceramicist Suzanne Sullivan produces pottery with intricate surface decoration that creates an awesome illusion. When viewed from a certain angle, the objects look like 2D ink drawings. They’ve got bold, flattened designs reminiscent of a sketchbook, with a consistency in line weight that often remains unchanged across the surface—because of this, our eye is fooled.
Suzanne wrote a quick FAQ on her Instagram, including some shops that sell her work:
I have a well-documented love of face planters on Brown Paper Bag. My years-long admiration is because of the playful nature they inherently contain. These delightful objects dress up your plants while creating wild, ever-changing hairstyles for the stoneware characters.
Design Forest is inspired by animals—bunnies, cats, elephants, and more— and pares them down to essential, simple shapes that are minimal in decoration yet convey sweet personalities. Just look at their smiles!
Design Forest sells their entire pastel-colored collection through their online shop.
If you’ve read this blog for months (or even years), you know how fond I am of Jen Collins and her illustrations. Since 2013, she’s applied her delightful paintings onto ceramics, and the application of tigers, swans, and cats lights up any piece of stoneware.
Keep Company is a collaboration between Jen and ceramicist Shaya Stevenson. Each piece is wheelthrown by Shaya and then glazed by Jen. As a result, the forms of beautifully crafted with surface decoration that has a carefree gestural quality to them.
Keep Company just updated their shop. Many of these pieces are gone, but there are still some up for grabs—check it out now!