Peter Sheldon gets inspiration from centuries past for his studio’s ceramic designs.

Peter Sheldon Ceramics
Courtesy of Sheldon Ceramics

Peter Sheldon is one of our 2020 Emerging Designers. Discover the entire inaugural class here and why they’re making the West a more beautiful place.

Name: Peter Sheldon of Sheldon Ceramics

Type of work: Ceramist 

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Established: 2014

Based out of: Los Angeles

Ceramist Peter Sheldon has been doing ceramics for years, with training across the East Coast, Montana, and even New Zealand, but some of his biggest inspiration comes from centuries past. “We have thousands of years of human history of ceramics,” says Sheldon. “Humans have been practicing ceramics for thousands of years across the continents, and each culture has their own tradition.” 

Looking backwards is a big source of inspiration for finding timeless and contemporary ideas that Sheldon can bring into his designs today. Plus, the attitude of reflection also keeps him humble towards his craft. “Someone, somewhere, in the last 2,000 years has done it, and probably did it better than you,” he says.

Peter Sheldon Ceramic Pitcher

Courtesy of Sheldon Ceramics

But Sheldon is also looking towards the now, too. “There’s been an incredible rise in ceramics as well as clay studios, which does wonderful things for the community,” he says. “The more people into clay is good for all of us—a rising sea raises all boats.”

With so many makers and ceramic designs out there, it can feel overwhelming to make your picks. Luckily, Sheldon shares his tips for not overthinking your next ceramic purchase.

Trust Your Touch. Sheldon’s advice for finding great ceramics can be applied to any craftsman work. “Fundamentally, quality craftsmanship is apparent,” he says. “When you pick up those objects, you can appreciate and realize their worth.”

Choose Joy. “When it comes to pottery, choose what you love,” says Sheldon. “If you love a piece of pottery, that’s what matters. It’s not always about price, especially when you’re bringing these items into your home.”