Sometimes traditional is great, but sometimes you just want an item to have a bit of bite. Many designers who feel the same way see crockery design as a chance to offer just that. After all, there are no specifics as to what, say, a teapot has to look like; so long as it has the capacity to contain hot water and has a spout for pouring it, everything else is very much left up to the designer. Perhaps that’s why the teapot – like the mug – has conventionally been the basis for many quirky interpretations: teapots shaped like elephants where the trunk is the spout, teapots shaped like cottages where the thatched roof lifts off, and so on and so forth. But you don’t have to go all out in reimagining a piece of crockery just to give it a hint of character. In many cases, a small quirk here and there adds more to a design than a hundred removable thatched porcelain roofs could. The designers of these pieces of tableware clearly all know that well. Read on and discover some great names to keep an eye out for.
Simplicity wins the day with this wonderful piece by Nadege Richard. The little graphic invites speculation as it seems to tell a story of some kind. Why is there a wolf on the street, where wolves are surely not expected to be found? Where is it going, and where has it been? We can’t know; we can only know that this jug is quite lovely, and a triumph of minimalist, but still idiosyncratic, design.
This envelope-shaped plate by Celine and Fabien Badal could be just the ticket for those to whom the written word is important. Its unusual design is not only visually effective, it also serves a purpose, providing compartments to separate different food elements in the same manner often used in parts of Asia.
And in the accompanying jug the beautiful craft, particularly in the colour work, is even more apparent.
These adorable cups by Raul Lazaro are absolute attention grabbers. With the simple addition of a set of legs, they’ve gone from being plain, simple and purely functional teacups to being characters with strong personalities all of their own. We hope the little antelope doesn’t feel intimidated by them; we’re sure they’re very friendly indeed.
Here’s a thirsty cup in action, presumably on its way to seek out some tea.
While we’re on the subject of limbs sprouting in unexpected places, check out this impactful design by David Robert. Not only is the design itself beautifully executed; the surprise addition of legs to the fish adds a pleasing twist. The monochrome colour scheme works well for a punchy graphic such as this one, leaving no room for distraction.
In another design by David Robert, we see a more conventional fish going about its business. This one is evidently happier with its lot, since it hasn’t attempted to grow legs and make a break for it. Again, the overall simplicity of the item’s style combine with the monochrome colour scheme and strong graphic to make a strong visual statement.
These lively ceramic jugs seem to shout CELEBRATE at the top of their lungs. And they do have a lot to celebrate: in particular, the talent of their creator, Christine Carotenuto. Who could fail to be charmed by these pieces’ vivid, upbeat summer patterns and their endearingly (and of course deliberately) wonky spouts?