Founded by German writer and art historian Schnuppe von Gwinner, craft2eu offers a fantastic way to find handmade items made by craftspeople from the European Union. Pieces are generally made to order (she keeps stock to a minimum at the Hamburg shop) so count on a lengthy turn-around time. But also count on quality. Von Gwinner's collective includes emerging and established artists.
We've chosen a few favorites:
Danish artist Susanne Jakobsen (below) may have just graduated from the Designskole Bornholm, but it's her previous experience as a nurse that most directly influences her creations. Her Malumma series of tableware is based on the human body. "I work within the functional sphere of ceramics," she explains. "To give is positive, and the fact that my ceramics have a life after leaving my hands is important to me. Through a functional product, I obtain an indirect communication with people in everyday life." Cups start at about $60; pitchers start at about $225.
Claudia Zachow studied ceramics and glass in her native Germany, and now teaches at the BBI Professional Academy in Halle. Her work is inspired by the decoration of 18th-century porcelain (she studied painting at Meissen) and by pattern books from old factories, but her forms are from an altogether different inspiration: the plastic containers that hold fruit and vegetables from the grocery store. Dishes decorated with the Purpur Indisch and Corall designs pictured below start at about $40.
Working from her waterfront studio, Copenhagen-based ceramist Pia Baastrup creates porcelain dishware inspired by the childhood pastime of making paper boats to sail on ponds and streams. "I make the models in paper, which has the same lightness and transparency as porcelain," she says. "Then the porcelain is rolled into thin plates, cut into size and marked, bended or folded like paper, and finally assembled into cups, bowls and plates. Where the porcelain is joined, contours appear." Each item is made by hand, and to order, which can take 10-16 weeks. Small dishes start at about $45.