You don’t need us to tell you that ceramics can instantly freshen up any room in your home while also serving as functional décor. (That said, we just did.) To help you find your next piece, we combed through the online collections of Black ceramicists, the inventories of home-décor retailers on our (ever-growing) list of Black-owned businesses, and curated Instagram accounts like Black Ceramicists, Pottery for All, and that of artist Chantal Strasburger (who rounded up her own list of Black ceramicists to support). From minimal vases for your bodega bouquets to handmade trays for displaying knickknacks to cheery mugs that’ll add some joy to your morning coffee (or tea) routine, read on for our favorite ceramic pieces made by Black artisans or sold by Black-owned businesses. While expansive, this list is far from complete, and we’ll be updating it as we find more stuff we like.
Founded by Coy Johnson, the Coy Collection is a small-batch ceramics and jewelry line based in Austin that sells all sorts of pieces, from smiley-face cups to acrylic earrings. Right now, all of their offerings are spooky-season themed, including this mug and coaster set. (Make sure to take note of that creepy third eye.)
These vases from Karen Jai Home, founded by Dallas-based entrepreneur Janelle Langford, come in 12 shapes and sizes and range in price from $48 to $68. Singles can be used to hold buds (or even candles) — or, as the retailer notes, a few empty ones arranged together “make an equally striking display on their own.”
Kristina Batiste, the artist behind Tacoma, Washington’s one-woman pottery studio Juniper Clay, makes these small dishes that work just as well as snack bowls as they do jewelry catchers. And while it’s not Black-owned, Saltstone Ceramics is a small business that supports local and regional artists who, like Batiste, hail from the Pacific Northwest.
Claude Home founder Maggie Holladay sells an impeccably curated selection of vintage furniture and design objects. A lot of the stuff is one-of-a-kind, but this flattened earthenware vase is made to order by artist Willem van Hooff — so no two will be exactly alike, but more than one person can enjoy the piece.
Although not made to order, each of these terra-cotta planters is hand-painted with bold blue, white, or black lines. Founded by Nasozi Kakembo, the Brooklyn-based shop xN Studio sells a collection of home goods including pillows, furniture, and bath products.
This graphic, black-and-white incense holder comes from Black Pepper Paperie Co., a Washington, D.C.–based art-and-design studio founded by artist Hadiya Williams.
These adorable blob companions are so affordable, you could buy one for each of those friends (or family members) you still haven’t seen in person yet. In addition to unusual ceramics, artist Avé Rivera also sells equally funky stickers and apparel.
Editor’s note: Avé Rivera Studio has temporarily paused sales in preparation for the holidays. You can sign up on its website to get emailed when it reopens.
Artist Jennée Antoinette is the maker behind the small-batch pottery studio Wayfaring Woman Ceramics, which is based in Portland, Oregon. The colors and landscape of the Pacific Northwest provide inspiration for her pieces like this simple vase with loopy handles.
Goodee, an online shop founded by twins Byron and Dexter Peart, focuses on curating products from sustainably minded artisans and brands. Among them is this four-legged anthropomorphic tray designed by Sebastian Herkner for Ames. According to Goodee, the tray — which comes in both black and red finishes — is handcrafted in Colombia’s Tolima region and is inspired by the pottery exhibits from Bogotá’s Museo de Oro.
Goodee also stocks a collection of hand-thrown stoneware ceramics from Dutch brand Studio Ro-Smit, including this minimalist vase that the retailer says is sure to “make floral arrangements stand out.”
Virginia Felix is a Brooklyn-based ceramicist whose work fuses function and form, like this sculptural lamp supported by two legs that look kind of like a wishbone. If you’re looking for something purely decorative, you can also buy just the base for $100 less.
If you already have (or don’t have room for) a giant stuffed giraffe, this planter sized for a shelf may be more your speed. We think it would be eye-catching with or without a succulent peeking out of the top. Founded by Justina Blakeney, Jungalow stocks pieces she makes herself as well as “creative, colorful, modern goods from around the globe,” according to the brand’s website.
For something just as whimsical but even more functional, try these (Blakeney-designed) vases that double as bookends. They’re available in three styles; the price shown is for a single piece.
Founded by Shannon Maldonado, Yowie, a boutique based in Maldonado’s native Philadelphia, has a wide range of ceramics to choose from. One of them is this two-tone stash jar from Brooklyn-based studio Mamasun that opens and closes with a circular cork stopper.
If you’re always scrolling Instagram for décor inspiration, you’ve probably seen ceramicists Liv and Dom Cave-Sutherland’s playful pieces on your feed. This candlestick (with attached handle) is just the thing to add an Old World touch to a tablescape or nightstand.
Editor’s note: Liv & Dom lists all prices in British pounds, so the price shown is an approximate conversion to U.S. dollars.
Interior designer Marie Burgos’s MB Collection stocks a wide selection of home goods, from lighting to furniture to accents like this pill-shaped vase with a slightly textured exterior that catches the eye without overcomplicating its simple design. In white, it will surely make whatever flowers you add pop.
An actual work of art, this 16-inch-tall stoneware sculpture by artist and activist Malene Barnett is handmade and one-of-a-kind. (As are all her ceramic pieces, which can go for several thousands of dollars.) The Brooklyn-based Barnett is the founder of the Black Artists + Designers Guild, a collective of independent Black creatives, and has shown her work at galleries and museums across the country.
This peace sign–shaped vase from Jungalow is also designed by Blakeney. It comes in eight bright colors and will add a groovy touch to an entryway table or bookshelf — with or without flowers.
Brooklyn-based artist Kyle Lee has exhibited his work in both solo and group shows at several New York galleries. According to his website, he creates ceramics that, like this brightly patterned cup, incorporate “traditional shapes with a colorful and abstract sense of design and glaze application.”
This mug comes from Utility Objects, an Atlanta-based studio founded in 2018 by Aleisha Ellis. The abstract color-blocked design and higher handle make it far more eye-catching than your standard mug — and, presumably, make it much more fun to sip from.
For hypebeasts, we suggest checking out the work of ceramic artist London James, who makes porcelain replicas of famous sneakers from brands like Nike and Adidas. This Nike sneaker replica (James doesn’t sell them in pairs) would look great on a bookshelf or coffee table.
If you prefer a ceramic piece you can wear, try these deceptively sweet pins from Sio Ceramics, which describes its jewelry as “delicate and dreamy.” According to the brand, the pins are made from white stoneware then finished in 22-karat gold luster. Founded by Makeda Siobahn Smith, Sio Ceramics (which Smith has said takes its name from the first three letters of her middle name) also sells necklaces, earrings, small bowls, and incense burners.
Brooklyn-based artist Tiana Tucker’s work fuses her background in illustration with ceramics. Her mugs and vases are often hand-painted with smiley faces, rainbows, or small doodles.
Deep Black founder Sherród Faulks says, “This is the kind of dish you set out on your dining table and never remove except to top up with more fruit, serve the main course, or move to enhance another room.” It comes with a matching incense-burning adapter you can pop on top, making the piece even more functional.
Althea Meade-Hajduk runs her Althea’s Pottery business on Etsy, where she sells everything you need to stock a china cabinet. If you’re looking to bundle up, you can get four of her good-for-everyday pieces — a dinner plate, salad plate, mug, and bowl — in this set, which seems a steal when you consider each item is handmade to order. Their vintage look is achieved by applying a white glaze to chocolate-brown clay.
Canadian ceramic artist Marissa Y Alexander delicately hand paints her mugs, bowls and vases, including this roughly five-inch-tall, organically shaped guy.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is this simple bud vase made by RISD grad Tracie Hervy, who is known for her clean, minimalist pieces. We can’t imagine a home it would not look nice in.
These hand dishes — complete with manicured fingernails — come from Personal Best, a ceramics line founded by Whitney Simpkins. We can’t think of a more delightful gift for any loved one who might, well, need a hand dealing with the reality that is 18 months of living amid a pandemic.
Editor’s note: These hand dishes are currently sold out, but you can shop Simpkins’s in-stock ceramic cups and bowls on Personal Best’s website.
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