Yes, it’s easy to find a good deal or two this time of year online or at the mall, but living in New England, there’s just no excuse not to shop your local artisans, boutiques, craft fairs and holiday markets. Pottery is a unique gift that comes with the added bonus of a story behind every fired piece. For all the creative folks in your life —and for yourself too—here are eight New England potters we recommend getting to know if you’re looking to gift the future favorite coffee mug or a cherished centerpiece this holiday season.
Farmhouse Pottery was founded in 2008 by husband-and-wife team James and Zoe Zillian. From the first bowl to their current shop, which now houses eight artists and a collection of curated goods to match their pottery collection, this Woodstock, Vermont-based workshop is most certainly worth a road trip. A can’t miss gift idea is their Beehive Fatwood Crock and Fatwood bag, which made Oprah’s favorite things list this year!
1837 West Woodstock Road (Rt 4), Woodstock, VT, farmhousepottery.com
Founded by Alison Evans, Maine-based AE Ceramics can be found in retailers nationwide. Evans honed her craft in New York City and at Rhode Island School of Design before starting her business and ultimately settling close to family and the sea in Boothbay Harbor. She now has two studio and retail locations in Maine and a staff of five helping to create her nature-inspired pieces.
93 Townsend Ave., Boothbay Harbor, Maine; 359 Main St., Yarmouth, Maine, aeceramics.com
Founder and curator of the popular @PotsinAction Instagram account, Horie wears many hats in the maker community. In addition to creating, she is a community activist who believes in connecting people through art. Her projects include The Democratic Cup and Portland Brick. Based in Portland, Maine, Horie’s handmade pottery can be purchased online.
If you frequent any of Boston’s hip eateries, there’s a good chance you’ve dined or drank with an Ogusky original. Based in Jamaica Plain, Jeremy Ogusky is a potter and passionate fermenter who frequently collaborates with creative folks and businesses around Boston to form mugs, dishes, bowls and more for local eateries. If you want a custom piece, he’s happy to oblige.
Handmade in Maine by a former magazine editor and stylist, Michele Michael’s pieces are mostly ocean-hued and inspired by nature. Her line of products include clay tableware and wooden cutting boards and can be purchased online or at the Down East Gallery in Boothbay, Maine.
If blue and white is your thing (isn’t it everyone’s?), then you’ll definitely want to check out Jill Rosenwald’s work. Her ceramics line is filled with fun and colorful pieces, including vases, lamps and servingware, and are always finished with her signature 14K gold trim. Besides ceramics, Rosenwald also designs bedding, rugs, linens and more from her Boston studio.
Another Maine-based gem, ANK Ceramics are handcrafted by Ariela Kuh at Boat Club Studios in Lincolnville, Maine. You can find her tableware in hip eateries around the Northeast (like Momofuku Ko in NYC) and for purchase at her studio, online, and at select shops. Her coffee mugs and carafes would make the perfect gift for your caffeine-loving bestie.
Arch Contemporary Ceramics
Located in the historic Four Corners in Tiverton, Rhode Island, this gallery, studio and school is run by potter and sculptor Charlie Barmonde, but also sells the work of several other artists and residents both online and in the studio. You’ll find everything from a stone flask to a mini-cat mug in their eclectic stock, including gift options under $30. Visit their shop in person to take advantage of shopping in a tax-free artists district!
18 East Road, Tiverton, Rhode Island, archcontemporary.com