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Richmond, CA – Functional Art, Cups and Bowls for the Home + Holiday Gifts

BY: Liz Merolla, Sweet Tarnation

Functional Art by Sweet Tarnation

“Shape clay into a vessel; It is the space within that makes it useful.”  Laozi, philosopher

Vessels are endlessly useful. An object that is designed to hold things always has a place. If it can look great while serving its purpose, it’s all the more functional! It makes our lives better when we’re surrounded by objects that make us happy. Whether that’s through usefulness, beauty, or both.

I intentionally make my vessels without handles; it leaves them open for interpretation, letting you decide how you want to use it. Functional art is at its best when it’s versatile and I want people to feel free to use these ceramics as it suits them and their home. While we might use a handled mug for something other than its intended purpose, I think going handle-less really lets people feel free with how they see themselves using a vessel. It’s okay to use it as a mug too! I know I do, but I also use my “cups” for snacks, holding loose things like knick knacks and bobby pins, rings, and other small things that need a home while staying visible (so I actually use and enjoy them!).

Check out available vessels here!

small speckle clay cup with pastel pink glossy scallop glaze

2.5 inch speckle clay cup with pastel pink glossy scallops

Small vessels can be shot glasses, sake/port/whiskey cups, sauce bowls or even a receptacle for small things like rings or tiny items. I’ve used these for small servings of snacks or I’ll put sauces/condiments in them to have with those fries I just baked up. They’re also great for bringing to the table for that spent tea bag when having a post-dinner tea.

Medium vessels are great for mugs (hot and cold drinks alike – I love using the smaller ones for wine when they’re not holding a cup of tea or espresso drink) and treat bowls. There’s nothing more sweet than having ice cream out of a pretty ceramic dish, feel free to sprinkle that liberally with cookies and drizzle on your favorite sauce (I always go for chocolate, but caramel is a very close second. Don’t forget the marshmallow fluff if you have it!). This size is also awesome for holding pens in a work space or corralling chopsticks on a counter, even toothbrushes on a sink. As long as you can see it and use it regularly, you’ll love having it around!

6 inch speckle clay planter with light gray glossy scallop glaze

6 inch speckle clay planter with light gray glossy scallops

Larger vessels can be used for bigger snacks (lots of mine end up with a mixed fruit salad or cut-up apples and pears) along with hot foods like miso soup and restorative broths and stews. This size is great for small plants too! I have planters with drainage holes specifically made for that purpose, however even the ones without drainage holes can be used as a planter if the plant likes to be wet or if you want to hide a less-than-lovely container.

Having the perfect size and shape vessel to do whatever job you need is nothing short of gleeful. I love picking from the wide selection of options. It turns making a snack into a fun game, and I get to eat after! What more could an eatie ask for?

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“Best Ceramics Store in Richmond, CA”

Top Rated Local Custom Ceramic Art Store / Shop / supplier

East Bay Area: Richmond, Oakland, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Marin City, CA

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Liz Merolla

Sweet Tarnation

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Richmond, CA, USA

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

BIO: Hi, I’m Liz and I like making pretty things. I was born and raised in the Bay Area and am currently based here in Richmond, California. Making things is how I've connected to the world since I can remember. I believe good design is where beauty and function collide. Using fun(tional) objects every day is a highlight of life and I hope my vessels and art help you find that joy too.

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Richmond, CA – Functional Art, Cups and Bowls for the Home + Holiday Gifts