The Beauty of Variation in Handmade Ceramics

The Beauty of Variation in Handmade Ceramics

Mar 25, 2024Handmade Account

I’m a firm believer in the old adage, “Variety is the spice of life!” Even with my food…the spicier the better!! But I digress. 

What would life be like if every sunset were exactly the same, if every dish we ate tasted the same, if every day were a replay of the next. 

What makes MMclay unique among other studios is our commitment to natural variation. When designing each of our lines, I developed the glazes to render beautiful variations in each piece.

Most production studios dip or even spray their glazes which create an even application and an opaque appearance. 

Plates and bowls displaying variations of Eelskin Glaze on Sierra Collection

While there is great value and efficiency in that process, most of our glazes are brushed on by hand, allowing the touch of the brush to further imbue each handmade piece with its own distinctive charm. The result is a slightly different, yet similar result, each time we open the kiln. 

It’s the variations in the glaze that lends each piece its own distinct personality. One Moss Green pasta bowl might have more iridescent speckles than the next one. One Eelskin plate might have deeper black and blue tones than another. We happen to think that’s what makes the work so interesting! 


Plates and bowls displaying variations of Moonshadow glaze on the Progress Collection

 Depending on application and temperature, the glazes are what really make each piece their own celebration of artistry skill and creativity. While our forms remain consistent, every piece truly is one of a kind. 

I like to imagine our customers reaching from a stack of Moonshadow dinner plates and realizing that the most intriguing one is on the top. My kids have long had their own favorite plates, based on their love for the specific glazes, which can make setting the dinner table a fun experience for them. It’s these simply little moments in life that can bring so much joy. 

Ceramics is a functional and sculptural art form with endless possibilities. Here at MMclay we like to celebrate those possibilities and hope that each of you find charm in each piece, though one might not look exactly like the one next to it. Many customers declare that this is what they love most about MMclay. 

Brushing glaze on by hand


Cheers to embracing the ever evolving possibilities of glaze chemistry, celebrating gorgeous variations, and appreciating handmade ceramics made with care. 

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