Nod if you agree, caffeine has fueled much of our motivation this past year. When we've felt stagnant or fallen into a slump, we turned to the internet for the best iced coffee makers to celebrate the warm weather ahead or coffee bean delivery subscriptions to ensure our cups never run dry. Now that we've all developed even more of an appreciation for our daily caffeine consumption, it only follows that we should make space in our cabinets and our hearts for coffee's chicest vehicle: handmade pottery coffee mugs.
Homemade ceramics have become a mainstay of our Instagram feeds and Etsy search history since the start of the pandemic. Many have found time over the past year to indulge in artistic pursuits, whether that's trying their hand at pottery or decorating their interiors with wavy pieces that spark joy; we've all collectively contributed to the popularity of a trend that arguably never really went away, to begin with.
Keeping a beautifully designed ceramic mug by your side while you WFH can be a major mood elevator and, coupled with a good cup of coffee, an energy boost as well. Scroll on to see some of our favorite handmade ceramic mugs that have been adding some pep to our step and personality to our workspaces.
The New York-based ceramics company was created by none other than, you guessed it, Risa Nishimori. After studying wheel throwing in Japan, Nishimori began using the Nerikomi ceramic technique of mixing colored clays to create intricate patterns. The ceramicist hand throws each individual piece to create unique mugs that have a charm that cannot be replicated, partially because they're all slightly varied. By using vibrant colors and organic forms, the artist has created a style all of her own, and her pieces have made their way into Instagramable shops, such as the Lower East Side's Coming Soon.
Risa Nishimori Porcelain Mug, $, available at Coming Soon
The brand's namesake, derived from the archaic Norwegian word for hand, speaks to the elegant simplicity of the brand's designs and ethos. Based out of Burlington, North Carolina, Haand has focused their studio space around environmentally friendly production. Not only does their proprietary dip-glazing application process produce zero waste, but about 20% of each finished piece contains reused scraps from past production. In past years, their kilns' carbon footprint was equivalent to the average US household. Their ceramics are made to be super durable and would make an excellent coffee vessel for even the clumsiest person.
Haand Chemist Cup, $, available at Haand
This previously sold-out mug is made by Japanese-Mexican artist Viviana Matsuda, who draws inspiration for her designs from the body positivity movement. Based in San Francisco, Mud Witch's curvy geometric designs echo many of the internet's favorite wavy decor trends. Turning to ceramics as a form of self-care, Matsuda took up wheel throwing after the passing of her father (a ceramicist himself). Finding the creative outlet therapeutic, she turned her pottery into a successful business in its own right and we can't help but think they would look super cute on our kitchen table.
Mud Witch Handmade Jumbo Mug, $, available at Food52
This UK-based Etsy shop is a self-described inspirational home decoration accessories store, featuring mostly homemade glassware and pottery with splashes of other interior decor inspo. Their handmade bubble handle mugs look just as their title indicates, with big clay rounds of various sizes bound together connected to a sherbet-hued mug. Plus, these ceramic mug sets come with their very own rounded tea trays that are not only practical for spills, but add a cute *literally* elevated feel to each piece.
InspirationalCandle Ceramic Handmade Mug with Bubble Handle Plate Set, $, available at Etsy
Owner and founder or of Artisan Artifacts, Ariana Richie, makes contemporary ceramics using traditional pottery techniques and glazes. Working with unique textures, Richie uses a modern approach to classic ceramics through her barely-there handle that's as functional as it is dainty. Fitting comfortably in any hand, the mug's speckled and textured exterior and earthy-toned base makes for a perfectly balanced design. Combining her love of nature and a desire to create objects for everyday use, the Colorado-based ceramicist used natural clay and bodies and muted colors to develop her signature pared-down style.
Artisan Artifacts Artisan Artifacts Mug, $, available at West Elm
Joy of Decorating
This multidisciplinary Etsy shop features homemade ceramics, glass vases, and candlestick holders. Standing out for its chubby handles and bulbous designs, the brand's sturdy construction is palpable even from the imagery, which displays the mugs in a serene breakfast nook. The brand notes in its description that due to the drying process, each glaze may vary, meaning no two pieces are the same. Plus, they're made from non-toxic materials and are made to be dishwasher and microwave safe so no need to worry if your coffee gets cold before you've finished your cup.
JoyofDecorating Speckled Coffee Mug with unique handle, $, available at Etsy
Click HERE to read more from Refinery29