Our favorite Western ceramicists are experimenting with form and color. Plus, a succulent subscription box delivered to your door.

Here at Sunset, we’re finding ourselves drawn to pottery with rich textures and graphic elements, a perfect complement to the pops of green from our houseplants.

Portland ceramicist Jennée Antoinette of Wayfaring Woman Ceramics, for example, crafts pots in the form of bodies and faces that stand out on any shelf. The Oregon artist is inspired by “the beauty of Black women,” and wants to create pieces “to see myself reflected” in art.

Antoinette recalls growing up in a home with art but lacking in sculptures or ceramics that felt relatable. The artist is galvanized by the potential impact these planters could have if seen around a house by a “child that’s growing up not really seeing themselves reflected in popular culture.”

“I was doing a lot self reflection and a lot of self discovery about who I am, like who my family is,” Antoinette says. “My sister ended up taking a DNA test and then we got all this information about where my family is potentially from. I took a lot of that information and delved into different cultures in (West) Africa.”

The result is an exploration of the artist’s heritage, not only in pots but also mugs and vases that are handcrafted in raw red or black clay. “For me, it’s all about putting forth something that’s beautiful and showing that where I come from, like my African-American ancestors, my African ancestors, were beautiful and we deserve to be seen,” says Antoinette.

Here’s are some of our favorite Western ceramicists experimenting with form and color:

Ceramics and planters for succulents

Thomas J. Story

1. British designer Tracy Wilkinson crafts these stoneware pots in northeast Los Angeles. Contact for pricing.

2-4. Los Angeles writer and artist Raina Lee experiments with texture and form in a collection that spans vases, platters, and tea bowls. Contact for pricing.

5. Portland ceramicist Jennée Antoinette’s small-batch Wayfaring Woman Ceramics stoneware planters are, as the artist says, “inspired by the beauty of Black women.”

Dec/Jan 2021-2022 issue cover
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Sunset’s Winter in the West Issue 2021

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6. Viviana Matsuda does all wheel-throwing in a San Francisco studio to create vibrant and colorful Mud Witch pots with drainage holes.

A note on the plants: Each planter is filled with examples from the wide variety available from Succulent Studios. This second-generation California nursery offers a monthly subscription that delivers two eight-week-old succulents in biodegradable pots and care instructions to your door (or a loved one’s). The nursery uses only organic fertilizers, and its packages are plastic-free.

Got a loved one with a green thumb? This subscription makes for a gift that keeps on giving (or growing).