By Abi Lomax|
May 9, 2022|
9 mins read
Looking to spruce up your home this Spring/Summer with some handmade ceramics? These UK designers are ones to watch for producing some of the most beautiful sustainable ceramic mugs, plates, bowls and vases. What could be more gratifying than supporting small businesses and bringing one of a kind crockery into your home? Here at Wearth London, we stock a diverse selection of ceramics in our homewares category too, so make sure to check them out!
Stocked at: https://www.wearedill.co.uk/
About: Living and working from home in Aberystwyth, Wales, Ella’s ceramics are, as she likes to describe them, ”tactile and imperfect”. With organic brush strokes and classical imagery, her work evokes ceramics of centuries past, with timeless elegance and style. Each piece is unique, and beautifully so- made just as much to tell stories, as to be part of new memories built around them.
Sustainable practice: “I try to create as little waste as possible when I’m working; my hand-built pieces are made using a blend of all my recycled clay scraps, and broken biscware (clay that has been fired once and is ready to be glazed) go into a crate to be used as glaze test tiles. I hope that when they leave me to go to their final homes my pot’s will be used and loved for years to come.”
About: Handcrafted in her East London studio, Maria makes nature inspired ceramics, combining organic shapes with functional beauty- making them a truly unique and beautiful addition to the home.
Sustainable practice: ”Sustainability for me in ceramics is all about reusing and not wasting anything – there’s small things everyone can do to make an impact. For starters recycle all clay and not have any wastage – same for the glaze, perhaps mix small pots together and something interesting comes out of it. Also very important not working with toxic elements.
In the future I would love to have a green energy led kiln! I also reuse and recycle packaging for posting my work as much as possible.”
About: Based in Pelsall, UK, using the pinch method, Som hand makes every piece, influenced by contemporary art and her own illustrations. Delicate brush strokes and confetti of sweet hand painted flowers identify her newer work, along with her unique illustration style- imagery reminiscent of your favourite childhood storybook, on her larger pieces of ceramic. Perfect for the crockery draw, Som is a UK artist to get collecting from.
Sustainable practice: “I run a small business with no other employees so I’m not able to mass produce, however I ensure that every item I make is lovingly crafted as this is my passion. As a result the amount of pieces available to purchase can be of a relatively small quantity and sell out quickly as a result.
All the materials I use are specified as non-toxic on the product label. I ensure that every time I fire the kiln, that this is full, to reduce the amount of firings I have to do, therefore reducing electric consumption as much as possible.
My kiln is electric as opposed to reduction firing (using gas) as this is better for the environment.
I’ve tried my best to use sustainable and recyclable products as much as possible, this includes packaging.”
About: Habulous by Nicky Edmunds is a UK based ethical homewares brand focused on creating sustainable, quality ranges that will last a lifetime. Nicky lovingly creates her unique pottery pieces in her studio on Dartmoor. She focuses on creating contemporary, functional ceramics using traditional methods such as hand building and throwing.
Sustainable practice: “At Habulous our work is made to last; buying well means buying less in the future. We fire our kilns at the lowest viable temperatures to reduce our energy usage and recycle our clay wherever we can. We source materials as close to us as possible and use recyclable and reusable packaging.”
About: Based in Ramsgate, Kent, creating ceramic homeware, Izzy takes a lot of inspiration from architecture and mid century design, contrasting brutalist inspired shapes with a soft playful colour palette. Think the Barbican Centre, but washed in warm colour with highlighted points of design.
Sustainable practice: “Sustainability is something that’s really important to me in my practice. I work in small batches, ensuring I’m not overproducing or creating unnecessary waste. I like to think I create pieces that people invest in and therefore will treasure and use for a lifetime, rather than opting for mass produced alternatives that quickly end up in landfill. I do my best to keep my studio practice as sustainable as possible, one of my favourite parts of pottery is the infinite cycle of clay reclaim, meaning nothing goes to waste! I also avoid single use plastics where I can, and all my packaging is plastic free. The most important part of moving towards a sustainable practice for me is recognising it’s a process to be consistently worked on and holding myself accountable in areas that need to change!”
About: Working from Norfolk, Meredith creates small-batch, hand-built ceramics. With forms reminiscent of Ancient Egyptian and Greecian pottery, she collaborates with a number of different artists to paint the pots, along with her own incredibly unique illustration style. Despite the subject matter – be it cherubs, contemporary text, organic brush strokes, bolder colours or scribbled sketches, you can see her artistic identity clearly marked.
Sustainable practice: “It’s not a secret that ceramic production relies heavily on the use of raw materials and natural energy resources, however by reclaiming unused clay, recycling material such as boxes/paper for packaging and understanding my firing cycle to keep the energy low, I can help keep my carbon footprint lower.I use every bit of clay I buy; none will ever go to waste.
I package all ceramics in plastic free packaging. Using cardboard boxes, paper, and paper tape that I have bought myself or recycled from my place of work.
Ceramics uses every element of the earth; it is the earth, and I cannot forget that. Being aware of the resources I’m using and being grateful to be able to create the art I can, allows me to continue my practice in the most sustainable way possible.”
Insta: @ trixmagosara
About: Central Saint Martin’s graduate, Trixia, joins the alumni of brilliant makers and stylish designers from the Arts College. Her work is wheel thrown and then hand altered to reflect the diversity of people in life, celebrating these unique differences. With organic forms and earthy, cool-toned colourways glittering with warmer metallics, her glazes have been developed over the years of experimenting to work perfectly hand in hand together. Look out for soft mug silhouettes and dripping luxurious glaze.
Sustainable practice: “Trix Ceramics products are well packaged with craft paper and biodegradable honeycomb paper bubble wrap to protect the ceramics well. Biodegradable peanuts for extra support in a box.”
About: The artists behind Boobiebu and FatClay pottery are the couple Emily and Matt, based in Southsea, Hampshire. BoobieBu pots are handmade to order, celebrating body diversity and bring cheeky nudity into your kitchen/ garden/ window sill in the form of mugs and plant pots. Fatclay on the other hand, follows more traditional ceramic design, with earth tone glazes and classic forms. Small batches are released monthly and commissions are open.
“Being small businesses, there is intention behind every piece. No clay or energy from firing is wasted as they all have guaranteed homes to go to. Additionally, all the clay used in the joint workshop is reclaimed, meaning that excess clay is simply recycled back into the system, keeping the material’s life cycle that much longer. Furthermore, the packaging used to shop is all recyclable and biodegradable.”
Socially sustainable, Emily and Matt get involved with various charitable events and they give back to the local community via the studio where they make their work in The Makers Guild in Portsmouth.
About: Created by Abi Haywood, a ceramics student based in London and Wales attending Slade School of Art, her work is popular on social media amongst her fellow Gen X and Millennials followers, where her work is known for being fun, tongue in cheek, and just a joy to look at. It is clear to see she is inspired by contemporary art, media, and timeless textile print trends recycled through the decades.
Sustainable practice: “Not much to say with ceramics as a material it’s generally pretty sustainable everything gets used or reused and I package everything with stuff from old parcels or use sustainably sourced packaging so that’s it really 🙂 .“
About: Based in South Fawley, Berkshire, Charlotte throws on the wheel creating functional but beautiful work, along with hand-built more organic forms. She writes “ The ability to craft an object from the materials found beneath our feet is what drives my passion to create” and that is clearly seen in her timeless, elegant work- a celebration of the material itself.
Sustainable practice: “Charlotte Manser ceramics offers customers the chance to invest in and enjoy handmade ceramics. Unique and contemporary pieces are made in small batches in her studio in west Berkshire. She works to ensure her business is sustainable and as eco friendly as possible by using full recyclable packaging and postage materials, recycling all of her clay and mixing her own glazes.”
About: Identical twins, Liv and Dom Cave-Sutherland are the creative duo based in Lewes, UK behind Liv and Dom. They produce both functional and decorative pieces (which I have been a long term fan of!), primarily depicting the nude in a beautiful, delicate manner, reminiscent of Greecian depiction of Women, and doing true justice to the Divine Feminine trope. All the works are designed, hand-sculpted, glazed and packaged in-house, in small batches, so keep an eye out for drops! And get in there quickly when custom spots open up.
Sustainable practice: “The small batch nature of our work makes it easy for us to be sustainable – the two of us working in our little studio produce so little waste. The few seconds/samples produced usually get gifted to friends and family or sold with the proceeds going to charities.We are also committed to zero plastics packaging, sourcing recycled materials where possible, printing on hemp paper and upcycling.
At the moment we are in the process of fitting our first studio/shop in Lewes with almost exclusively second hand pieces, sourced locally.”
About: In her garden studio by the sea, Mecki makes minimal decorative and functional ceramics by hand, with the flora and fauna images created by her illustrator daughter Zanna. ZAN+ME is an eco-friendly business with a no waste policy at its core, the clay and glazes are recycled and even the kiln is powered by solar energy
Sustainable practice: “Our ceramics are made from mineral bodies that are abundant and sourced from the earth. Our sustainable production methods include all unfired clay and excess glaze and harvesting solar energy to power our kilns.”
So now that you’ve been inspired, why not support these small brands and bring new life into your home. If you’re looking for more ideas on slow homewares, check out our recent guide.