6 Ceramic Artists Making Mugs We Covet

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Paper & Clay)

Although you might not want to think about it, gifting season is right around the corner. That means it’s time to start stocking up on good ideas for your best friends near and far.

Since coffee and tea mugs are some of our favorite things to give and receive, here are six fun, wildly different independent ceramicists to keep an eye on.

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The Danish Mug – Brit McDaniel (Image credit: Paper & Clay)
  • Brit McDaniel: Known as Paper and Clay, McDaniel has a sleek Scandinavian aesthetic that has wide appeal. We especially like the ombre treatments she adds to the piece when glazing.
    Shown: The Danish Mug, $44
  • Helen Levi: Her marbled style is the perfect complement to that dreamy afternoon cup of tea. We love that she works in so many different colors and types of clay. And if you want a gift that keeps on giving, every year she does a mug subscription called Cup Club with four exclusive mugs throughout the year.
    Shown: Riverbed Mugs, $48 each
  • Josephine Heilpern: Under the shop name Recreation Center, Noel makes playful geometric-patterned pieces that are a mix of glazed and unglazed clay. One of our favorite details? She frequently dips the handles of her mugs in rubber for a smooth grip.
    Shown: Rubber-Dipped Raw Mark Mug, $35 each
  • Steve Kelly: One of the more textural artists on this list, Kelly throws each mug on the wheel and then hand carves sections away to reveal a unique design. We’d recommend mixing and matching colors to build a set.
    Shown: Hand-Etched Mug, $35 each
  • Laura Cooke: Mostly working in soft pastels, this North Carolina-based ceramicist also has a lighter side, as shown in her treehouse series with simple and adorable drawings of some of your favorite animals.
    Shown: Bison Mug, $28
  • Forest Lewinger: To be fair, Lewinger specializes more in tumblers than mugs, but we love the colors and style of his work so much that we probably wouldn’t even miss the handle.
    Shown: Tortoise Shell Cup, $36