Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — Ceramics have a long history in the Philippines, having been used as barter currency back in ancient times before eventually being phased out with the advent of Chinese porcelain.
The process of making a simple dish or cup holds much significance due to the degree of care a potter puts into it. A single piece must be carefully handcrafted using a mixture of clay, earthen elements, powders, and water, before being fired in a kiln (a high temperature oven for pottery) and getting painted and glazed.
Recently, a number of local makers and collectors have been reviving appreciation for ceramic pieces by increasing their visibility on Instagram and other online platforms.
Here, we round up a few places that offer modern and quirky pieces that’ll be perfect for your dining table.
Pronounced “noo-kuh,” the owners describe it as a lifestyle store for modern nesting necessities. At Nooke, you’ll find one-of-a-kind ceramic vases and plates in irregular shapes under their “found” collection of vintage items. They also sell modern home décor including mirrors and wooden clothing racks. The pieces are limited, so best to follow them so you don’t miss any of the good stuff.
Hey Kessy pottery
If you can’t seem to find pieces that fit your personal taste, why not get them custom-made? Arts and crafts store Hey Kessy’s pottery offshoot allows you to customize your own plates and other ceramic wares by choosing your own shapes and colors. They also offer pottery workshops so you can learn how to make your own pieces. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries.
Aarde means “of the earth, of soil” in Dutch, which is fitting for an online shop that carries a selection of ceramics from different cities locally and globally. Check out the #aardeventures hashtag on Instagram and you’ll see that they handpick their stocks from Japan, Iceland, and Denmark. Aarde’s catalog includes stoneware plates, vases, and other wares. There are more plates and mugs available, but if you’re lucky you can get your hands on a quirky vase or planter.
Crescent Moon Café
Established in 1997, Crescent Moon is quite famous in the local ceramics scene because of their wide selection of designs. They don’t have a website at the moment, so you’ll have to pay a visit to the Antipolo-based café if you want to browse through all their offerings.
Potter Genavee Lazaro makes all the pieces for Bisq by hand, with the help of a very small team. You’ll get a kick out of their product names: Handmade candy jars fall under the “vices” category on their website, while trinket dishes are called “cookies” and soap dishes are called “biscuits.”
Common Room PH
If you’re into bright, whimsical patterns and color schemes, you’ll love the painted pieces by ceramic artist and illustrator Iori Espiritu. Espiritu normally accepts online orders, but since she is on a break, you can try going for some of her limited pieces available at Common Room’s physical stores.
Catchstar Ceramic Collections
Catchstar is an Instagram-based collector’s shop that carries ceramic dinnerware imported from Japan. A good place to check out if you’re looking for items to complete your Japanese tableware collection, as it carries authentic teacups, teapots, and sushi plates.