My quarantine banana bread was secondhand ceramics—emphasis on was. I wrote semi-extensively about this passing obsession during the first few months of the pandemic. My haul, an assortment of bowls, plates, serving dishes, dessert plates and tea cups, are now safely stored in the cupboard like a distant memory. So what made me stop?
There were two instances. The first was during a short trip back to my hometown in Rizal when I brought along these treasures in case I needed them to shoot food there. I left a bluish celadon glazed bowl there on purpose in case I returned only to find out a week after that my mom turned it into a planter.
The second one was when I found out about this local potter’s online store on Instagram. Marco Rosario put up a shop called @marcorokuro.shop sometime in June along with fellow potter Jezzel Wee, where they sell their handmade ceramics. I got a small shallow textured bowl by Wee that I now use to store my lip products by my bedside table.
That’s when I realized I pay just as much for secondhand ceramics. I also chanced upon a pottery workshop near my hometown called Crescent Moon by Lanelle Abueva Fernando in Antipolo that sells plates, bowls and mugs (even sinks) by the kilo at P200.
From then on, I sought works whose owners I know to be local makers—no disrespect to the unknown Japanese artisans that probably made those surplus ceramics.
So to share this wisdom with you all, here they are complete with details on where you could buy them—mostly online.
Marco Rosario (@marcorokuro.shop)
Occasionally, this potter releases new stocks of his scribbled plates, some inlaid with porcelain along with mugs and bowls through his other account @marcorokuro.shop. As with all shops here, your best bet is to turn on new post and new story notifications, if you want to score one of his wares.
Aly Kangleon (@manibalang)
You’ve probably seen her ubiquitous work: mugs with boobs. But Kangleon has a lot of other quirky shapes in her repertoire. She has sunny side up egg-shaped dishes, too along with planters and bowls—still with boobs, because why not?[READ: What’s making this ceramic artist happy? Edible and decorative bread lamps and rest as a radical act]
Her works are hard to come by because of the demand for them. You’ll usually have to out-“mine” hundreds of others for a coveted boob mug. But worry not, you can also find her planters at dalisayplants.co.
Iori Espiritu (@masa.ceramics)
A potter, illustrator and artist, Espiritu is known for her ceramic pieces with human-like features like eyes and nose, sometimes drawn, other times carved on mugs, dishes and even coffee drippers.
She’s one of the potters on Instagram, whose works people go crazy for so when she announces a new release on her other account @masa.ceramics, expect to battle it out with many other “abangers.”
Ella Mendoza (@taongputik)
When ceramic artist Ella Mendoza is not busy with exhibits—and if you’re lucky—she’ll sometimes (very rarely) put up a sale of her ceramic pieces. Last time, she partnered with non-profit People for Accountable Governance and Sustainable Action (PAGASA) to fund their social programs through a sale of mugs, bowls, teapots and other small sculptures.
My fingers too are crossed that she will soon do another sale. In the meantime, my post notifications are on.
Cornerstone Pottery Farm (@cornerstonepotteryfarm)
Cornerstone Pottery describes their handmade stoneware as fusion wares, meaning their dining sets and mugs are mixed and matched from their various collections. This makes each setting unique.
Joey De Castro (@joeydc_pottery)
Equally coveted by restaurateurs and private collectors are Joey De Castro’s wood-fired and glazed ceramics. This year, he’s one of the exhibitors at the first-ever online Art in Park from Aug. 10-17. Occasionally, he also releases limited pieces via a Facebook group called Philippine Pottery Art.[READ: Joey de Castro proves there is a future for Filipino pottery]
Pablo Capati III (@paburopots)
The ceramic artist is the newest to establish an online store called @paburopots where he is set to upload some of his creations fresh off the kiln. Yes, he will release a selection of plates, mugs, vases and more anytime soon so better tune in.
John and Tessy Pettyjohn
Considered trailblazers in the local pottery scene, ceramic artists John and Tessy Pettyjohn has a discreet presence online, too. On Facebook, they post some of their new creations and with a private message you can inquire if they are for sale and how much.
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Writer: CHRISTIAN SAN JOSE
ART JOEY SIMBULAN