Caroline Shares The Art Of Collecting Handmade Tableware

I think we all have a new found appreciation for the little things and there are some traditions that feel more special than ever. One of my passions is collecting handmade pottery and finding fun ways to use it depending on the occasion. So it's no surprise that my two favorite ceramists are Handmade Studio and Spako Clay. Their wabi-sabi aesthetic suits my vibe and they play so well together. Every meal can look and feel different when you have a selection that can be mixed and matched. While gatherings may be smaller this holiday season, I'm enjoying pulling out my collection of tableware for festive meals. That's one thing we can control in a world that seems very out of control. 

I've been collecting handmade pottery for a few years now and I’m always on the lookout for new pieces to add to my collection. When I first discovered Spako Clay a couple of years ago, I was drawn to the organic shapes and beautiful hand-drawn designs and colors. Julie Spako works out of her home studio in Austin, Texas where she builds each piece by hand using high fire porcelain and dark brown stoneware. I recently collaborated with her on a dandelion series to pay homage to our bestselling dandelion paperweights. I also felt during the pandemic, we all needed a little sign of hope and, as children, I think we all made wishes when we blew on a dandelion in the garden. Julie's interpretation of dandelions on the pieces are as magical as I hoped and since it was a wildly popular collection, she's made more which are currently en route to DIANI. For the drop date, follow @dianiboutique or email caroline@dianiboutique.com.

The Dandelion Collection features a variety of tableware pieces, from bowls and platters to spoons and plates. The bowls come in a variety of sizes, which I love to layer as a place setting or use individually to serve sauces or oil for dipping bread. The larger bowls are perfect for serving soup this time of year or a fresh salad in the summer months. The options are endless and I have so much fun playing with new ideas.

I first started collecting handmade tableware when my husband and I were sourcing for our home store five years ago. We discovered Handmade Studio in Nashville, Tennessee. Each piece is crafted by hand with organic minimalism and a timeless aesthetic. Ceramist Morgan Williamson and her team create heirloom quality pieces that you can enjoy now and pass down to the next generation. I originally fell in love with some of her signature pieces, like the lace salad plate, cookie plate and the chamberlin platter. I have the gunmetal tableware collection at my farmhouse and use it everyday as well as for special occasions. In the summer months I bring it outside (see here) and for Thanksgiving, I layered the collection on our dining table for an intimate fireside meal. I'm looking forward to mixing it in with the new Spako Clay collection for a whole new look and feel. 

When looking for new tableware to add to my growing collection, one prerequisite  is that they can be mixed and matched with my other pieces. I love using what I have interchangeably so nothing sits forgotten in the back of my hutch. And it's how I buy for the store too so that everything that I find will slide right in with what you may have already found with us. Stay tuned for our new drop of Spako Clay which will be landing next week and to see our current tableware collection, check out our Dining section on the site. 

  

Sending love and holiday cheer,

 

Photos in the kitchen courtesy of Emma L McCann

 

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