Im­per­fectly nat­u­ral

There’s a new take on beauty at the ta­ble, writes Robyn Wil­lis

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - TREND - Robyn.wil­ More

Fine din­ing has al­ways been syn­ony­mous with crisp white ta­ble linen and bone china din­ner sets. But in re­cent months, there’s been a turn in the tide as we em­brace hand­made, handthrown and hand­painted ce­ram­ics re­flect­ing a con­nec­tion to the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment and plea­sure of the im­per­fect. And it’s spilling over into do­mes­tic din­ing. These ro­bust bowls, plates, cups and ac­ces­sories might be a lit­tle rough around the edges but they are also a gen­tle re­minder of the Ja­panese tra­di­tion of Wabi Sabi, which cel­e­brates the beauty in im­per­fec­tion.

Colours are typ­i­cally earthy, ref­er­enc­ing ev­ery­thing from the shades of sea and sand, through to the ocean’s depths to the speck­led shell of a bird’s egg.

Pat­terns are mot­tled, re­flect­ing worn seashells, peb­bles and tim­ber.

There’s never been a bet­ter time to source hand­made ce­ram­ics by skilled lo­cal ar­ti­sans such as Keiko Mat­sui (her work is bot­tom right), Hay­den Youl­ley and Kim Wal­lace who cre­ate one-off works that have their own rhythm but are less than uni­form in their shapes and pat­terns. Pick one piece for dis­play or start a col­lec­tion and build a din­ner set.

Such has been the pop­u­lar­ity of this move­ment that man­u­fac­tur­ers and de­sign­ers such as Tara Den­nis, Salt & Pep­per and Maxwell & Wil­liams have re­leased their own ‘be­spoke in­spired’ ranges of plates, plat­ters and bowls.

If you’re keen to in­tro­duce the more or­ganic shapes and colours of this style, they are the per­fect match for clas­sic white bone china, mixed in with a nat­u­ral tim­ber bread board.

Be­cause there’s so much go­ing on with the din­ner­ware, keep ta­ble linen sim­ple but raw, with nat­u­ral linens in ecru, celadon green or indigo. Al­ter­na­tively, ditch the table­cloth in favour of a plain ta­ble in tim­ber or stone.

Be­spoke in­spired ce­ram­ics from the Ar­ti­san range by Maxwell & Wil­liams, maxwelland­

Hand­made ce­ram­ics from the Pa­per se­ries by Hay­den Youl­ley De­sign, hay­deny­oul­

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