As winter thaws and spring and summer bring warmer temperatures and lifted spirits, expect your customers to search for the best and brightest tableware and accessories. Guide their urge to decorate with iridescent bowls perfect for fresh appetizers, tumblers that tickle the hand, and coasters that bring the outdoors to the table.
Dinah Coops sees nature from two perspectives: it’s full of resources that need to be preserved, but it can also be beautifully adapted to everyday home design. That’s why she launched Dinah Coops Naturally Modern Sustainable Designs in 2007, after 20 years as a designer and art director. Coops is inspired by the seedpods, nuts, leaves and blossoms she finds in her Seattle neighborhood. She translates the imagery into a series of silk-screened coasters, napkins and tablemats, which can also serve as trivets, trays and wall art.
Tableware from Mesolini Glass Studio, on Washington’s Bainbridge Island, is instantly recognizable by the distinct cut-off edges. Diane Bonciolini and Gregg Mesmer’s works also combine color, like the iridescent lime, yellow, aquamarine and tangerine highlights seen in their series of “Crescent Moon” bowls. The pair opened their studio in 1977 and still strive to produce intricate collages of color in a durable line of bowls and trays.
Lawrence McRae and Jill Rosenwald work each day to reinvent and improve their line of studio ceramics. “This is why our work is fresh, spirited and of the moment,” they say. Through Switch/Jill Rosenwald Studio in Boston, Mass., the husband-and-wife team produces a line of lamps, serving bowls, pitchers, vases and plates in bright patterns.
For more than 14 years, Kino Guérin has continued to search for balance and harmony in his work—with great success. The Quebec, Canada, artist mixes aesthetic with function, curves with straight lines, and wood and veneers with industrial materials. Every tray, vase and piece of furniture aims at simplicity through the talented use of vacuum-press lamination.
Terry Craig and Jennifer Wanless-Craig of Artech Glassblowing Studioin Ontario, Canada, push the limits of the traditional blown-glass cup with functional “Spike,” “On the Rocks” and “Lattice” glasses. The one-of-a-kind, bottom-heavy vessels offer a tactile experience by massaging your hand. In addition to its functional line, Artech offers whimsical and high-end sculptural works.
Patty Benson doesn’t think home accessories should be limited to ceramic and glass. That’s why she launched Papaver Vert in Alameda, Calif., in 2007. She meticulously hand-crochets and felts “Plant Cozies,” coasters, bowls and vases. “I love everything about wool,” she explains. “Its texture, smell, how well it shows off bold color and how it can go from one form to another with a crochet hook, soap and water.”
Gerald Haessig has spent the last four years rebuilding his life after his home was flooded during Hurricane Katrina. He temporarily relocated Gerald Haessig Designs to his hometown, St. Louis, Mo., before returning to New Orleans. Today, he produces lines of decorative blown-glass flowers, vases, paperweights and bowls.
Emily Reason explores proportion, color, texture and function in vases, teapots, pitchers, tumblers and serving dishes. She throws, alters, carves and glazes each piece to produce durable tableware. Since opening Emily Reason Ceramics in 2004, the Marshall, N.C., ceramist has also taught classes and workshops, and will have her first book published this year.