"Unique" is a word that gets bandied about far too often. But when you're talking small-batch ceramics, each piece individually hand-thrown, glazed and fired (not to mention, often made to order), unique is the name of the very thoughtful and beautifully considered game. Here are five Australian ceramicists making it look easy.
Anna Karina Eleven years ago, after a busy time working in fashion and interiors, Anna-Karina Elias moved from Sydney to Byron Bay for a simpler life and opened a bookshop. She then, luckily for us, studied ceramics at art school. These days, Elias is in her Bangalow studio making beautifully simple tableware that's sophisticated and gentle, but never dull. Her pieces whisper rather than shout, and your kitchen and table will appreciate the approach. Anna Karina ceramics, instagram.com/annakarinae
Chela Edmunds began her career in textile design, working for labels such as Donna Karan and Vera Wang in New York. Now back in Australia and living by the beach in Victoria's Torquay, Edmunds has spent the last three years channelling her training in print design and her love of colour into Takeawei - a summery line of high-fired mugs, cups and platters awash with sunset tones and patterns. Inspired by textile techniques like tie-dye and batik, subtle prints, organic forms and colour are all signatures of the Takeawei story.
Takeawei ceramics, from $45, takeawei.com
Over a long lunch in 2014, Sydney artist and Lantern book designer Evi O and her business partner Pamela Sarly put their heads together on Anekka, a collection of modern homewares with a global outlook. Anekka's simple matte and gloss-finished pieces are designed in Sydney, the material sourced from Japan, and the final products individually handcrafted in Surabaya, Indonesia. It sounds complicated, but the outcome is beautifully simple. Wide-lipped plates, oversized sake cups and vases that double as jugs come in peachy sherbet, navy, black and white, and always let your food or flowers shine.
Anekka ceramics, from $22, anekka.com
Marloe Morgan's high-fired, hand-thrown stoneware is made in northern New South Wales. From shallow bowls awash with popping orange and yellow, to organic-shaped platters and high-gloss rain-print sake cups - each piece is designed with sharing, entertaining and everyday use in mind. Plus her bespoke service allows you to have a piece designed and produced in Australia, exactly to your specifications.
Marloe Morgan ceramics, from $18, marloemorganceramics.com.au
After 10 years as an interior designer, Brooke Thorn threw it all in to get her hands dirty. Fast-forward two years and she can be found working full-time behind a pottery wheel, throwing complete dinner sets by hand and dip-painting her stoneware with colours that range from peach to nectarine, teal to sky blue. While each piece is dipped in a similar way, they all come out with a unique personality and are perfect for mixing and matching.
Brooke Thorn ceramics, from $25, brookethorn.com.au