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Piaule's Minimalist Ceramic Vessels

Mindfully made pieces, crafted painstakingly in the USA

by Nara Shin
on 16 November 2017

Only one set of dishware—a ceramic bowl and a plate—brings me joy daily. They were handmade for Piaule, an online-only brand that is painstakingly perfecting homewares one at a time; and as a testament to their work, I've never felt the need to own any more bowls or plates. Piaule works so painstakingly, in fact, that it's been about a year since their last release: a made-in-Japan, hardened fine crystal short and tall glass. For their much-awaited fourth release called "Vessels," they've collaborated with the same ceramicist for the aforementioned porcelain tableware set, for a large bowl ($60)—just in time for soup season—and vase ($90) that could double as a pitcher. The invisible symmetry is beautiful here: the bowl is as wide as the vase is tall. Both pieces are made in America, from 100% porcelain.

"Production is painstaking because Trevor and I are so particular about what we like and we aren't willing to settle just for the sake of rolling out new products," Piaule founder Nolan McHugh tells CH on their unhurried process. "It's probably been a year since we released something, and I can't tell you how many things we've tried, tested, and rejected over that time. Many are still in the works, but we won't release anything until we have absolute confidence in its beauty, usefulness, and ability to stand the test of time."

McHugh reveals that they've been testing bedsheets—"a logical Piaule product"—for about two years, but they're still not ready yet. "I've lost count of how many samples we have, but probably around 50. And testing something like sheets takes a long time—at least eight hours a night. Plus we have to see how they hold up after multiple washes, ongoing use, etc. So we can't fake that, and we don't rush it. There's an easy way for us to expand our product catalog but there isn't an easy way to find stuff that we truly believe in. It takes a long time."

He adds, "Beyond that, we have another consideration which is about consumption in general. We don't want to make things that add more waste to the world unless they're truly necessary, so we look into recycling or reusing or alternative methods of production before we decide to move forward. The result though, is a small but slowly growing catalog of things that we truly love and use every single day and we hope other people will do the same."

Images courtesy of Piaule

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