The Versatility of Ceramic Furniture Design


May 19, 2023

For thousands of years people have made ceramic furniture, from simple stools to elaborate temple thrones. After hundreds and hundreds of years of evolution, we’ve taken a dip into a trend of blobby, garishly colored ugly clay furniture. It’s enough to ignore the idea of ceramic furniture altogether, but then you would be missing on some of the most subtle, tactile, and beautiful new designs being crafted today. Below we look at some of our most favorite ceramic furniture, skillfully made and versatile. Let the evolution continue.

1. Ceramic Stitch Table by Eny Lee Parker

Ceramic Stitch Table by Eny Lee Parker

Eny Lee Parker is a New York-based designer who specializes in creating objects, furniture, and lighting using clay as her primary medium. Eny’s work emphasizes the traditional craft of making, with a focus on slowness, intention, and respect for natural resources. Her contemporary objects serve to raise awareness of our presence and relationship to the non-living world, while also embodying a timeless aesthetic.

The Stitch Table is a beautiful example of Eny’s work in ceramic furniture. The table’s transparent glass top is supported by the precise base whose thick, rounded structure is like a cross stitch, blown up to massive scale. The table is a stunning showcase of Eny’s talent for creating objects that are both functional and beautiful. $4,600 – $5,000

2. Modern Coffee Table by Apparatu

ceramic coffee table

Modern Coffee Table by Apparatu

The Modern Coffee Table is a meticulously handcrafted piece manufactured at the esteemed Apparatu workshop in Barcelona. Combining various clay bodies with natural fibers, such as corn, straw, or heather straw, this unique table exhibits a thick and durable clay structure. Each table is a singular artwork featuring distinctive colors derived from different oxides and minerals.

3. Columnar Coffee Table by Ōmbia Studio

ceramic white coffee table

Columnar Coffee Table by Ombia Studio

The Columnar Coffee Table by Ōmbia, a ceramic sculpture and design studio in Los Angeles, showcases the handcrafted expertise of founder Cristina Moreno. Inspired by the traditional artisans of Colombia, each piece is meticulously hand sculpted, celebrating the organic and imperfect. With a focus on texture, unconventional forms, and attention to detail, these unique creations offer a moment of pause and elevate any home with their warm and distinctive character.

4. Helena Floor Lamp by In Common With

Helena Floor Lamp by In Common With

The Helena Floor Lamp is a striking piece that combines simple geometric forms with meticulous sculptural handiwork. It features a totemic, coil-built clay base and adjoining shade that conceals all hardware and bulbs. A solid brass ball doubles as a dimmer switch. Design brand In Common With is all about curiosity, materiality, and collaboration. When you see an In Common With object, you’re seeing the work of many invisible hands. $15,000

5. Chair I by Simone Bodmer-Turner

Chair I by Simon Bodmer-Turner

Chair I by Simone Bodmer-Turner is a sculptural and functional collectible. Inspired by organic architecture, the ceramic chair is fully weight-bearing and wraps comfortably around the sitter. Each piece is custom-made to order and can be sculpted to face left or right, depending on preference. The surface is textured and matte white, making each piece unique. Debuted in 2022, Chair I is the first of a developing line of ceramic furniture.

6. IMI coffee table by Sebastian Herkner

IMI coffee table by Sebastian Herkner

IMI for Pulpo is a round ceramic side table designed by Sebastian Herkner. Handpicked glazes by Herkner add playful charm to each unique, handmade piece. Pulpo combines traditional craftsmanship with contemporary production processes to create a diverse collection of objects. Sebastian Herkner’s designs reflect a focus on function, material, and detail, influenced by observations of people and actions.

7. Wash Basin by Lily Clark

Wash Basin by Lily Clark

Lily Clark, an artist and designer based in Eastern Sierra and Los Angeles, considers water her primary medium. Her ceramic wash basin reflects her fascination with light, sound, and fluid dynamics. Drawing from her background in sculpture, Clark creates functional pieces that offer a moment of tranquility in the home. Her work highlights the beauty and harmony found in nature, inviting users to engage with their surroundings in a more meaningful way.

8. Mould Side Tables by Theodora Alfredsdottir

Theodora Alfredsdottir is a talented product designer based in London, but originally from Iceland. Her upbringing in a small, tight-knit community informs her philosophy today: grounded in the belief that good design should not only be beautiful and functional but also responsible and sustainable. Her work reflects her commitment to creating objects that are both aesthetically pleasing and environmentally conscious.

The Mould collection of ceramic side tables that explore the possibilities of using a single mold to produce unique objects. The tables are made using a stackable mold of three parts in three shapes: a square, triangle, and circle. By stacking the mold differently for each piece, Theodora is able to create one-of-a-kind tables that are both functional and visually striking. The tables can be made from a variety of materials, including ceramics and Jesmonite, and are fitted with a glass top for a sleek, modern look. $1,187

9. Twelve Forty by Floris Wubben

Twelve Forty by Floris Wubben

The Twelve Forty chair by Studio Floris Wubben is a stoneware lounge chair designed to its structural limits. The click method used in timber joints is used to hold its ceramic components together, resulting in a strong piece available in two models: one solid and one combined. The Amsterdam-based studio is known for working at the intersection of functional and sculptural design and focuses on self-designed machines and processes to create its work.

10. Clay X Safeefa Collection by Mula

Clay X Safeefa Collection by Mula

The Clay X Safeefa Collection by Mula is a modular seating and dining furniture set made of clay and cement. The collection is inspired by the traditional Safeefa seating arrangement and features a unique design that functions as a decorative totem when stacked. Mula’s commitment to innovation and creativity is evident in the collection’s striking design, making it a standout addition to any modern living space.

11. Ceramic Coffee Table by Hun Chung Lee

A ceramic coffee table by Hun Chung Lee

A ceramic coffee table by Hun Chung Lee

Hun Chung Lee, a Korean artist, presents a magnificent and unique coffee table crafted from glazed ceramic. With a background in ceramic sculpture and a second MFA in sculpture, Lee’s work showcases meticulous control of glaze patterns and transforms solid ceramics into soft, cloud-like pieces. He has exhibited extensively in Korea and the United States.

12. Jbel Zucar Side Tables by Houda

Jbel Zucar Side Tables by Houda

Jbel Zucar Terracotta Side Table, handcrafted by potter Houda in the Moroccan Rif mountains, showcases the ancient art of modeled pottery. Each piece is unique, shaped from clay collected locally and fired in open fires for over 12 hours. Houda combines tradition and modernity, infusing her tribe’s motifs with innovative designs.

13. Benched by Kelsie Rudolph

Benched by Kelsie Rudolph

Kelsie Rudolph, a contemporary ceramic artist based in Helena, Montana, presents a captivating ceramic bench that combines organic forms with bold, abstract colors. With a Master’s in Fine Art and a BFA in ceramics, her work has been exhibited internationally, showcasing her mastery of the craft and artistic expression.

14. Coffee Tables by Maarten Stuer

Coffee Tables by Maarten Stuer

Coffee Tables by Maarten Stuer

The Coffee Table or Stool with Grey-White Glaze Decoration by Maarten Stuer is a ceramic gueridon that exhibits exquisite craftsmanship. This signed piece is in perfect original condition and can be used indoors or outdoors. Maarten Stuer, a graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, found his passion for clay in Barcelona before settling in France. Stuer’s art breathes life into clay, creating dynamic forms that reflect the influence of weather, time, and perception. His works, which increase in scale, embody a harmonious blend of archaism and spirituality, drawing inspiration from natural elements such as seeds, shells, waves, and coiled fibers.

15. Table by Lea Ginac

Table by Lea Ginac

Léa Ginac’s ceramic table showcases a fusion of ancient inspiration and contemporary design. With a passion for authentic materials, Ginac creates modern yet timeless pieces using ceramics, plaster, and marble. Her collection pays homage to Greek architecture, featuring strong and simple shapes that evoke a classical past. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, her furniture exudes simplicity and harmony, revealing the beauty of the material and a timeless emotional connection.

16. Modular Ceramic Bench by Rino Claessens

Modular Ceramic Bench by Rino Claessens

Rino Claessens’ new work for the “Modular Element” show at Gallery Sceneouverte in Paris is the Modular Ceramic Bench. The bench consists of fourteen individual stools that can be put together to form one large seat. By rearranging the stool the user is able to create numerous configurations. The bench is made of glazed stoneware, and is suitable for outdoors.

17. KAMBI side table by Denis Castaing

KAMBI side table by Denis Castaing

Denis Castaing’s work is defined by architectural volumes and lines taken from buildings, clothing, objects, and memory. His works seek movement despite being cast in ceramic, like the KAMBI side table, whose puzzle-like cut out base feels like a brutalist puzzle piece, or perhaps a cubist cactus, caught in movement to support the tabletop. $4,987

18. Coleção Terra by Giácomo Tomazzi

Terra Side Table

Diogo Giácomo Tomazzi opened his São Paolo studio in 2011, focusing on the interaction of industrial production and artisanal techniques in detail-oriented, culturally inspired objects. His pieces are his way of telling stories about Brazil, from its eye for beauty and style to its people and spirit. In Coleção Terra, Giácomo investigates the four elements and their importance to ceramic production—water to wet and mold the earthen clay, fire and air in the process of firing—to invoke the connection between man and earth. $625

19. High Tapa Side Table by Lucas Huillet

High Tapa by Lucas Huillet

Lucas Huillet crosses artisanal ceramics and design and blends Mediterranean and Japanese influences in his work. His practice is rooted in a sustainable development approach, beginning with the conscious sourcing of raw materials and their traceability and continuing through manufacturing to embrace new and experimental techniques. The High Tapa table is made of grogged terracotta at Lucas’ studio in the village of Cerbère, France. $3,264

20. CAP Table by Lex Pott

CAP table and stool by Lex Pott

The CAP tables by Lex Pott consist of a base and a top, each thrown by hand. The design of the two-piece tables combine elements of eastern and western cultures and handmade and industrial silhouettes. The glazed surfaces lend themselves as side and coffee tables for indoor or outdoor use. The colorful, simple forms reflect the ethos of designer Lex, whose work tends to reduce a design to its essential forms, finalized with pops of color.

21. Moor Collection by Lisa Allegra

Moor Collection by Lisa Allegra

The stoneware Moor collection by Lisa Allegra includes tables, lights, planters, vases, and a shelf, all playing with themes of balance and contrast in forms grounded by a trio of rounded cylinders. Lisa lives in Barcelona, where she also handcrafts each piece of masterful ceramic furniture in her studio, Ceramic LAB. The studio doubles as a coworking space for other ceramicists and those looking to learn the medium.

22. Coffee Table Gypse by Natasha Dakhli

Coffee Table Gypse by Natasha Dakhli

A passion for 20th century modern design led Natasha Dakhli to develop her artistic identity through ceramics. Spanning furniture, lighting, decorative and functional objects, her creations explore the aesthetics of the ’50s and ’70s—particularly architecture. Vertical rhythms and unstable balances of movements link nature and space in volumes like the Gypse Table.

23. Sandstone Side Table by Moïo Studio

Sandstone Side Table by Moïo Studio

This small sculptural side table is a unique piece, made by hand as part of a series of ongoing objects that explore tripodal structure, stone carving, and a mix of sandstone-like glazes in ceramic furniture. In a white sandstone finish, the table’s expressive and tactile texture is made by hand by French-Palestinian artist Maia Beyrouti, the owner of Berlin’s Moïo Studio. The studio’s ongoing glaze and clay materials research allows Maia to generate new forms and aesthetics inspired by architecture, raw materials, and mundane, often overlooked, details. €845

24. Common Effort by Sanna Völker

Common Effort by Sanna Völker. Photo by Ampi Aristu

Made for the “Sisters” exhibition in Barcelona, Common Effort is inspired by fellowship, and the community around creativity. Sprouting from the core of female friendship, the design came about as designer Sanna Völker invited her friends Lotta, Elin, Melinda, and Marina to join her in the studio to craft the tables. In her larger body of work, the slight brutalism and combination of rawness and refinement are consistent themes.

25. ZTISTA Oval Table by FAINA

ZTISTA Oval Table by FAINA

Ukrainian designer Victoria Yakusha founded FAINA, a collection released twice yearly on the summer and winter solstices, with the philosophy of live design at its heart, encouraging physical interaction with each piece. ZTISTA means “made of dough” in Ukrainian—and it’s clear why the material that makes the leg of the oval table is named such. A sustainable blend of clay, hay, and other recycled materials, ZTISTA is designed to return to nature. The oval table features a living ash-wood top and FAINA’s signature holes in a piece that amplifies the energy of its material, giving it a spontaneous, lively feel. Made with a technique similar to the Ukrainian craft of valkuvannya, once used for wall finish, each piece is different from the next. €16.800,00

26. Bishop by India Mahdavi

Bishop by India Mahdavi

India Mahdavi’s iconic Bishop stool came into being when she was designing the bar and nightclub APT in New York City in 1999. She wanted to create the effect of a forest of stools at the bar, and designed Bishop to help her do so. Now made of enameled ceramic in 20 different colors, the stool is also a side table thanks to the versatility of its design. It is in many ways emblematic of India’s design philosophy: simple but statement-making, colorful yet refined—and, certainly, made in France. €1,500 – €4,500

27. Cloud Side Table by BZIPPY

Cloud Tables by BZIPPY

Artist Bari Ziperstein’s company, BZIPPY, is known for innovating with ceramics, challenging notions of slab construction with inventive shapes and glazes that pop. The double-tiered cloud table is but one example of the way BZIPPY is known to play with scale and volume to create interesting, beautiful ceramic furniture and other works—this one even has a spot in Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz highly curated, cliffside home designed by Kelly Behun. $3,449 – $5,790

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