Over the past few years, acclaimed restaurants have given up universal shiny, white ceramics in favour of custom handmade pieces you can’t find anywhere else. Working with artisans they put as much careful thought and consideration into the plates, platters and bowls their food is served on as they do into the food itself. The stakes have been upped for the artistic presentation of cuisine and ceramic dishes are an integral feature of the display.
The most popular clay product that receives the most attention would have to be the humble plate, mainly due to its functional purpose of delivering food to the table.
There isn’t a utilitarian consumer product with a longer history then the ceramic plate. It’s a marvel of continuity, pragmatism and cultural lineage. Basically it’s still made from clay, thrown on a wheel and baked in a kiln. Maybe as a subconscious sign of respect, this ceramic vehicle of nutrition is still favoured over more modern materials like metal and plastic, despite its vulnerability to breakage. The predominantly round plate stands as a symbol of abundance and also still features as a medium of art.
See Jono Pandolfi’s catalogue of functional custom dinnerware
See Douglas Kenny’s profile for artistic plates.