Ceramics have been a core element of aesthetics for centuries and they continue to be a key home accessory. Often serving a functional purpose, as well as playing a decorative role, you can choose ceramics that enhance your day-to-day routine or simply choose inspiring pieces that are perfect on show.
When you’re looking for ceramics to buy, it might seem as simple as finding a piece that you love the look of. Indeed, you should always choose home accessories because you’re inspired, moved, or engaged by them. However, there’s plenty to consider when you’re selecting ceramics. From their design and style to their history and provenance, delving a little deeper into the world of ceramics can help you to find sensational pieces for your home.
To learn more, take a look at our top tips for finding stunning ceramics and how to choose them:
1. Explore Different Types of Ceramics
Before you delve into ceramics and design, take the time to learn about what this material. Traditionally made from clay, water and earthen elements, ceramic has been around for centuries. Throughout the years, the creation process has developed and given rise to a whole series of subsections. Today, you’ll find artisans that still use traditional methods to create ceramics, as well as designers who embrace innovative new techniques for creation and design.
There are now four main categories of ceramics that are widely recognised: stoneware, earthenware, porcelain, and Bone China. Both stoneware and earthenware are made from clay, but earthenware is made from a more porous clay. Often, earthenware is finished with a glaze to increase its ability to repel water. In contrast, stoneware is more durable and less porous, which gives it a more robust appearance and feel.
Porcelain is surprisingly similar to stoneware and the distinction between the two varies depending on who you ask. However, porcelain typically takes on a translucent appearance when held to the light, whereas stoneware doesn’t. In the East, it’s often claimed that porcelain makes a ringing sound when it’s tapped, which can help you to tell the difference between the two.
Bone China is a type of porcelain that’s remarkably tough, due to the addition of powdered bone ash in the creation process. Although it sometimes looks fragile, Bone China is surprisingly robust and designed to be less prone to chipping or cracking.
2. Consider Functional Uses
Now you’ve got an insight into the most common types of ceramics, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision when selecting which ceramics to buy. However, you’ll need to take into account how you plan to use the piece you’re buying, or if you plan on actively using it at all.
If you’re interested in ceramics design purely because you want to buy a decorative piece, its functional purpose may be less relevant. Conversely, if you want to purchase ceramics that will be used, you’ll need to ensure that both the material and design will be durable.
The Unity Large Platter Fine Bone China and the Equation I Plate Fine Bone China & Silk, both by 1882 Ltd, are excellent examples of stunning ceramics design that can be used around the home. Combining the durability and strength of Bone China with vibrant hues and spherical or angular forms, you can enjoy stunning ceramics design while taking advantage of the utilitarian benefits that ceramics offer.
3. Ground a Space with Ceramics
When you’re choosing ceramics for around the home, select pieces that showcase the traditional and natural manufacturing process if you want to ground the space. In its truest form, clay is made from plant life, animals, and minerals, in the same way that soil is. Over time, water breaks these components down into fine particles, creating beds of clay around rivers, lakes, hillsides, and seas.
Incorporating ceramics into your interior design allows you to embrace nature and infuse your surroundings with a calm and tranquil vibe. If you want to maximise the impact, choose ceramics designs and pieces which are created by artisans who use traditional methods and handcraft to produce their products, like the Woodland Walks Clay Vase by Kilngod Ceramics.
4. Experiment with Colour
Many people assume that accessorising with ceramics means sticking with colours found in nature, but this isn’t the case. While there are spectacular pieces that feature softer, more muted shades, you’ll also find an exceptional range of ceramics designs that feature bold, vibrant colours.
The Picasso Hand Painted Ceramic Tray from the ACH Collection highlights just how impactful ceramics design can be when it incorporates bright shades, for example. Similarly, the metallic finish of the Gold Teacup Reflect Bone China by Richard Brendon shows what’s possible when white Bone China is fused with lustrous metals.
5. Choose Unusual Pieces
As well as using ceramic vases, sculptures, and tableware to adorn your home, choose pieces that you wouldn’t necessarily associate with ceramics. The Four Bulb Table Lamp in Gloss Gold by Scarlet Splendour is ceramic with a 24k gold finish, for example, while the Alice Ceiling Light by Royal Stranger features a handmade base formed from brass and ceramic.
When you use ceramics design in this way, you can utilise this outstanding material in a variety of different ways and, as a result, make it a more ubiquitous feature in your home. Furthermore, you can enhance your interior design with the tactile surface of roughly finished ceramic or the glossy surface of porcelain and add visual texture to the environment.
Selecting Ceramics Designs for Your Home
Ceramics may have been around for centuries but it’s because of their exceptional properties that they remain a firm favourite with interior designers and homeowners. Combining durability and quality with a blank canvas, ceramics encapsulate a myriad of design styles. This makes it easy to find ceramics designs to enhance any room or property, regardless of your chosen theme, colour scheme or concept. In fact, deciding which ceramics to buy is only tricky because there are so many outstanding pieces to choose from!