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Frederic Finds: Our Guide to Gorgeous Handmade Mugs

July 29, 2020
Digging through the market’s myriad options for that perfect something­—be it a big-ticket item or a small (but statement-making) detail—can be more than a bit overwhelming. That’s why done the hard work for you, scouring the globe for the best of the best: our Frederic Finds!
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Schumacher CEO Timur Yumusaklar has a special place in his heart for mugs, with a particular appreciation for handmade ceramic ones. As both a mug enthusiast and coffee lover, he knows that whether it’s your morning jolt of caffeine or afternoon reviver, a cup of joe tastes infinitely better in a well-made vessel. Here, he shares some of his favorite pottery studios for finding that perfect piece.

Zoe Dering Ceramics

The handmade pieces whipped up by Zoe Dering in her Bay Area, California, studio range from vessels featuring graphic and textured pattern play, like the Black and White Diagonal Facets Mug above, to subtle fluting coated in rich, earthy glazes. www.zoedering.com

Wilcoxson Ceramics

Beautifully and individually hand-crafted from recycled porcelain clay, these colorful mugs with their modern-inspired curves—like the Horizontal mug, above—are designed, glazed and fired in Wilcoxson’s Brooklyn studio. www.wilcoxsonbrooklynceramics.com

OM Ceramic

Designed in her Los Angeles ceramic studio, Carrie Lau’s work is distinguished by its modern and curvy shapes combined with playful designs in upbeat hues. True to form, the Large Double Sprinkles Pattern Mug does not disappoint. www.omceramic.com

Jenna Vanden Brink

Made from start to finish by the passionate and talented Jenna Vanden Brink in Pittsburgh, PA, these Earthenware mugs are designed to make your morning sip that much more of a joyous (and floral!) occasion. www.jennavandenbrink.com

Free Folding Ceramic

On the west Galilee of Israel, where a beautiful nature preserve meets the Mediteranean Sea, is where the talented Michal Keren Gelmen sculpts contemporary and functional ceramic homeware. All her work, including the Marion mug above, is thoughtfully hand-made yet sturdy enough to withstand modern amenities. www.freefoldingceramic.com

Naked Clay Ceramics

Made from a blend of black stoneware and white porcelain in her Bedfordshire, England, studio, each of Carla Sealey’s handsome ceramic pieces are inspired by Earth’s natural, subtle colors and textures. Not only are they easy on the eyes, they are lovely to hold and individually unique. www.nakedclayceramics.com

Giselle Hicks

The Helena, Montana-based Giselle Hicks attributes her love of making ceramic tabletop pieces to having grown up in a restaurant family. For her, pottery is about community and coming together for the all-important act of eating—an ethos that has lead her to create charming pieces like this white-glazed mug above. www.gisellehicks.com

Kaell Handmade

Within the wide valley of the Gera River in Germany lies Erfurt, where slabs of clay are hand-thrown to create minimalist pieces coated in handsome charcoals, crisp whites, cloudy ash greys, like these modern, satin-glazed mugs, above. www.etsy.com

Jennifer Spring Ceramics

The Seattle, Washington-based Jennifer Spring is strongly inspired by the home when it comes to her designing her hand-crafted ceramics, imagining how each piece will fit and function in a modern living space. The studded Modern Espresso Cup, above, features an eye-catching interior hue. www.jennifengrspringceramics.com

Bisila Noha

Distinguished by her decorative addition of a marble slip, British-based Soetsu Yanagi’s wheel-thrown ceramic pieces with their simple beauty, like the earth-toned mugs pictured above, are deeply inspired by Japanese pottery. www.bisilanoha.co.uk


Paris-born designer and ceramicist Ninon Choplin runs his own studio in California where he single-handedly produces a vast array of whimsical ceramic tableware and smokeware. Like the Duplo mug, above, each piece is glazed with a bright, primary-colored detail. www.neenineen.com

Lolly Lolly Ceramics


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The up-beat and talented Lalese Stamps, better known to her followers as “Lolly,” thinks outside the box when it comes to her creative process. Based in Columbus, Ohio, an abundance of exquisitely sculptural mugs fills her studio. She recently created a collection of 100 black mugs each with a handle in wildly different forms, such as the one above. www.lolly-lolly.com

Mt. Washington Pottery

Beth Katz, the California born-and-raised artist behind Mt. Washington Ceramics, blends traditional Japanese design with a modern Scandinavian aesthetic when creating her perfectly imperfect tableware. Her pieces run the gamut from vessels with smooth, milky glazes—like the Facet Mug, above—to those with delicately carved chevron patterns coated in a hazy lavender hue. www.mtwashingtonpottery.com

Utility Objects

Inspired by modern Japanese ceramics, Georgia-native Aleisha Ellis creates organic and bold pieces with textured surfaces, much like her Nagai Mug, above. Each piece is created as one-of-a-kind to eliminate waste and further enhance the attention to detail. www.utility-objects.com

Not Work Related

With their playful, primary-hued dashes, the aptly-named Dash Espresso Mugs, above, are simply par-for-the-course for Brooklyn artist Sarah Hussaini. Her signature splashes of bold cherry reds, vivid blues, cheerful yellows, and saccharine pastels make her pieces particularly up-beat. www.shopnotworkrelated.com