The Small Faces – a burgeoning colourful ceramics trend

As the famous potter and writer Alison Britton once expounded, ceramic art only appears to fall in and out of fashion, but in truth the medium is always ticking away – it’s just us consumers whose interest fluctuates. Right now, whether it’s the creator or consumer driving things, there’s a big fascination going on between ceramics and the face. Maybe it’s because illustrators are getting behind the potters wheel (or building their work by hand), but a host of miniature ornaments, plates, jugs and plant pots have emerged richly decorated and coloured with facial features and plenty of personality. Ceramic friends if you like. We’ve been taking notes on what’s around.

The above two can be filed under Ceramic Faces as High Art. The plate entitled Smoking Girl in Colour, by Egyptian artist Ghana Amer was recently shown at Art Basel in Miami while a collection of vases called Little Fatty by fashion illustrator John Booth in collaboration with ceramicist Matt Raw are currently available through House of Voltaire.  face-ceramics-coloured-heads-the-chromologist

An ongoing series by artist Nick White, these ceramic heads fit into the palm of your hand (2-3 cm tall) and are grouped by the artist according to colour, mood or type – for example above right are 3 Knights 1 Blue Ghoul. At a start price of £10 each: we can feel a collection coming on.

Also offering small 2D works is ceramicist Laura Bird whose Blue Haired tile is part of a vast collection of 3D face-based pots, vases and miniature sculptures.face-ceramucs-colourful-heads-the-chromologistArtist Kinska works in a number of mediums and has built up a large collection of monochrome ceramic pieces illustrated as characters. However, we especially love her collection of colourful swimmers.


For a Mid-century collection in a host of lovely muted hues try Michelle Valigura.


And of course there’s Jonathan Adler who is famous for his colourful style and Mid-century-inspired works,  shown here alongside a cheerful pot called Pat by Group Partner.face-ceramics-orange-the-chromologist

Pots with plants for hair are a mini trend within this micro trend – try Polkaros and Atelier Stella for many ideas.


Or if you prefer the type of face that’s harder to read – you might like these more enigmatic guys, Vase with a Nose by Matteo Cibic.


Either way it’s a trend, and an uplifting one at that.

Jill Macnair


Jill Macnair has worked as an interiors journalist for 13 years, contributing to titles including Elle Decoration, The Sunday Times and The Guardian. She set up cult interiors blog My Friend’s House in 2009 with Ros Anderson and continues to run the forum daily.

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