17 Ceramics Small Businesses That Are Kiln It

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Welcome to Small Business Week! Join us in celebrating local shops, mom-and-pops, and more.

When it comes to small businesses, we especially love finding new ceramics studios we can follow and buy from. After all, is there anything better than ​oohing​ and ​aahing​ over handmade pottery that was designed with love, intention, and creativity? We sure can't think of anything.


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So that we can marvel over ceramics together, we'll be including some of our favorite ceramics small businesses below.

Ayumi Horie is a Maine-based potter who has participated in the craft for 20 years. For the past 14 years, she's been managing her business selling functional pots, many of which feature stunning animal drawings. She was also the first recipient of ​Ceramics Monthly's​ Ceramic Artist of the Year award and has participated in multiple fundraising events for causes she cares about.


On Instagram, Lexa Toledo Villanueva describes herself as a "Filipina clay witch, tarot reader, and grateful human." In addition to the The Future Ancestor Tarot, the artist also creates Lexa Luna Studio's earthy ceramics that can be found at the stores listed here.


Jasmine Spitzer-Smith of Ashé Ceramics uses art to explore their ancestral roots. Specifically, they create mugs inspired by West African Djembe drums, ashtrays that pay homage to West African prints and motifs, and spirit pots that are like mojo bags — they help concentrate the magical properties of oils, herbs, and more.


According to their About page, Coco Spadoni's work is about "queer dreaming, being in a body, playfulness, and abstraction." In addition to being a ceramic artist, the Seattle-based creator is also a teacher who enjoys making art as accessible as possible.


Asheville ceramicist Rosa Friedrichs aims to create inclusive ceramics with intention. For instance, in the description of her They/Them Pronoun Mug, the maker writes, "This is to celebrate all the non-binary people out there! To celebrate your identity! To celebrate using the pronouns you choose ... Your pronouns and identity are so valid, no matter how you present, they're always valid." Friedrichs will also create custom pieces for people whose pronouns are not currently in her shop.


6. POT

POT is a Los Angeles-based pottery studio that is owned and operated by people of color. "We felt a need for a space that felt accessible and empowering for those that felt marginalized in ceramic spaces – namely persons of color, the queer community, and millennials," reads the studio's About page. "Part of POT's mission is to break down the walls surrounding art spaces in L.A. and create a beginner's oriented studio."


In POT's shop, they sell gorgeous plants, merchandise, and other pot-related products. You can also donate to keep the POT community alive here.

Alex Simon is a Portland-based ceramic artist who, according to her Instagram bio, is also a sparkle queen and jewnicorn. Her colorful, happiness-inducing ceramics truly run the gamut — from handmade pipes in unexpected shapes to expressive unicorn mugs and heart-shaped objects, you never know what Simon is going to make next. To keep up with the next Make Good Choices shop release, you can follow the artist on Instagram.


On her Instagram, Vanessa Hernandez has been selling a multitude of speckled and raw exterior ceramic pieces that she makes at POT. Through her artwork, Hernandez aims to celebrate her Mexican heritage and the name of her shop, Okay Mija, was specifically inspired by her grandmother.

Ceramics and Theory is owned by Dustin Yager, who has been working with clay for over 12 years. "At Ceramics and Theory, we make unexpected things," reads the brand's About page. "We believe in the power of expression, honesty, and frustration; of surprise and camaraderie." This makes for cheeky, expressive pieces that are sure to make a statement in your home.

After studying animation at both Cal Arts and UCLA, Rami Kim went on to design ceramics inspired by her education. That would be why her pieces have a certain liveliness and whimsicality to them. As a testament to this, Kim is known for her blob sculptures, called "Blobby," which she created in 2017.

Sarah Hussaini is the architect-turned-ceramicist behind Not Work Related, a Brooklyn studio that aims to create both playful and functional ceramics. By blending Bauhaus and Post Modernism, Hussaini's pieces play with color and geometry in a way that feels fresh and Instagram-worthy.

Inspired by her education in pre-colonial African societies and African art, Dina Nur Satti went on to become a ceramicist interested in ritual and storytelling. Though she is currently based in Brooklyn, Satti has travelled to visit communities that keep ancient craft techniques alive in places like Africa and Morocco. Through her work, the artist explores personal growth and more.

This Los Angeles-based ceramic and design studio was founded by artist Carrie Lau, who was born in Hong Kong. Within her work, Lau utilizes playful movement, color and shape exploration, and modern, curvilinear forms that put her in a mindful state. You can't not smile when looking at one of her clay planters, mugs, objects, and lamps.

Brooklyn-based Japanese designer Yuko Nishikawa wants her work to make you feel "piku piku," which is a Japanese onomatopoeia describing involuntary movements caused by unexpected contact. She achieves this through her one-of-a-kind ceramic pieces that completely transform the spaces around them. We're especially in love with her ceramic mobiles.

"I make ceramic art and objects for the home and garden," writes ceramicist Michele Quan of MQuan Studio. "The pieces become a canvas for my love of drawing, painting, text, and color. Many of the objects and images are rooted in the visual symbols of Eastern iconography — their meaning and beauty of which I am continuously in awe."

Known for her iconic open palm ceramics, Brooklyn's Ivy Weinglass has gone on to craft a collection of tableware, sun catchers, and vases. She once told ​Glaze Magazine​, "Every single piece I make comes from a different source of inspiration," and you can truly see that in her range of pieces that pay homage to things like canyons and paper bags.

Ninon (aka Neen) Choplin was born in Paris, attended the Rhode Island School of Design to study industrial design, and lived in Los Angeles to work in the high-end furniture industry. Their love of ceramics started as a passion project, but soon turned into a small business where colorful tableware and smokeware are sold.