Friday, July 15, 2016

The Joy of visiting a Ceramics Market & using Pottery for the Presentation of your Everyday Food

The popular belief that dictates the use of matching plates, when presenting food should, in my humble opinion, be considered somewhat outdated. When you look at the food photography in the social media or browse through the photographs in cookery books or the food pages in magazines, it is rather obvious that the chef and the publisher have gone to great lengths when choosing the dishes on which the food is to be presented. When the photograph shows a selection of dishes to accompany the recipes, it is rare to see them displayed on matching pieces, but the colors and materials of the dishes always harmonize

When putting food together for either an fun family-style lunch, a formal dinner menu or for a buffet, while the foods selected will complement each other, they will each require a different style of dish from which to be served. That is where the fun comes in. Choosing vessels that best present the individual portions of a meal can also mean using very different pots and plates, bowls and boards, made of different materials like clay, wood, pewter or porcelain.

We all need to eat so why not enjoy it to the fullest. Eating from a paper plate at the seaside or the state fair is a pleasure we take from childhood into adulthood and there is nothing wrong with that. On the contrary. However,when it comes to sharing our table with family and friends, a lot more effort goes into it. So why do so many of us not give the same attention to the presentation.

Probably because finding beautiful pots and plates to serve and eat from are not always readily available, so we end up using the same ones over and over again. But our choice of dishes and the way we cook them are as personal and individual as we are. So why not take it that one step further and put our own stamp on our table and presentation.

I am continuously on the look-out for pretty and unique plates and serving dishes. Sometimes I visit fleemarkets, garage sales and goodwill stores, at other times I visit as many arts and craft shows and pottery markets as I possibly can. These days my attention is focused on natural looking plates with a special touch, those that complement the food that is presented in and on them. While I will most definitely try to go for a few matching plates, I do not mind if they are all unique.

The other day, when visiting a Craft Fair, I came across a beautiful bowl by German pottery artist Alina Penniger and I fell in love with one of her many designs. Her bowls and plates that I like the most look like they were „stamped“ with a lace design. Very unique. And a beuatiful way to present just about any food.

So I asked her to craft some plates specially for me. Luckily, she immediately agreed to do so and and brought them to the next pottery market she attended. I am now the happy and rather grateful owner of a small, albeit growing, collection of her work. I brought my loot home safely and on the same day I happily displayed four of her plates and bowls - plus a tiny vase – on our table in the garden – just for us to enjoy. While these plates and bowl have a matching design, they are all still different an dunique and will harmonize with many other dishes that I own.

Following are a few impression of the beautiful wares that were on display and for sale at the Pottery Market in the pretty town of Siegburg (Germany). Here are spome more of the amazing pottery that was crafted by Alina Penninger.

I might chose these plates next time and  go for this design of hers. The colors used and the design will match my food creations perfectly, I am sure.

Cherrries look even prettier when displayed this way. I enjoyed the way the artists arranged their wares in different ways - colorful flowers complemented their unique pottery in the most delightful of ways.

These jugs from a different artist were so pretty - the different shades of turquoise and greens were real eye-catchers, to say the least. I liked the shiny glaze and the look that is reminiscent of Greek designs.

One potter displayed bright orange and yellow nasturtium in a specially crafted vase that looked like a natural rock.

Beautiful colors – I could imagine that the morning cereal or café au lait tastes even better when served out of these amazing creations.

More of these wonderful jugs and vases and plates and tea pots. And more lovely flowers on display to complement the pottery.

Budding artists - like our youngest crafting her own little bowl - this picture is for my friend Mary - the Aspen cap she send came in very handy again on this sunny day in July...

Loved these tiny bricks.

Beautiful dark and bright colors make for very pretty glazes for these bowls.

Very unique pieces on display at this stall.

More tiny bricks to play with - these are perfect for children as they inspire youngsters to get creative. These came in different colors and the ones in the picture had soaked up all that warmth from the sun that day - the kids adored them.

Unique contemporary ceramic art.

Pottery cames in many shapes and sizes - it can be as unique as the artist her- or himself. It can be a piece of art to be displayed in a showcase but it can also be used in everyday life, to complement the food we so lovingly prepare for our families and friends. You can buy a whole set that matches or you can chose one or more unique pieces to complement your other dishes.

Should you get the chance, make sure to visit a local pottery market or ceramics fair. It is fun to take a look at a diverse range of original ceramics for sale from lamps, tableware, and vases to sculptures and unique pieces. And then, if possible, support the wonderful artists that create those amazing everyday wares and unique pieces of art.

For more information on ceramic artist Alina Penninger  and her handmade stone dinner ware and garden ceramics, you can go here.


  1. What fun an interesting post Andrea always Im looking if I find a new plate or cups or dishes especially old china.
    So you can understand why I love this post.
    You always have beautiful pictures and love how you present your food :)
    Have a nice weekend Andrea.

    1. Dear Gloria, it just seemed like it was about time I did a post that is about a different aspect than the food itself - the presentation. It was interesting and fun to put together and I am glad that I got to share some of the amazing artwork of these ceramic artists and potters and their wares.

  2. You have a lovely eye when it comes to presentation and serve-ware! I love your new dishes!

    1. Thank you, Liz! Visisting Ceramics and/or Pottery Markets and Fairs is fun and inspiring, to say the least!
      And who does not like an excuse to go shopping for more lovely props?!
      Liebe Grüße,

  3. Love your style Andrea, the dishes are beautiful, love the little flower vase too. I beleive that certain foods look better in certain dishes as well. Beautiful presentation!

    1. Thank you, Cheri - these plates and bowl are the things I really enjoy these days.

  4. Thank you for bringing your readers on your adventures.
    Stunning shots.
    Gorgeous colors.
    Sensational vases.
    I love the bowls w/ the vivid colors inside ( not outside ) xx

    1. Dear Kim, what a kind and considerate comment - I love the pieces that I bought while at the market and I was quite pleased that some of them were crafted especially for me. Could not ask for more.
      Many hugs, dear friend - I do hope that you are spending a wonderful summer,

  5. This looks like so much fun! I love the cafe-au-lait bowls, and the dark ones with the bright interiors! Mark is lucky we missed this festival - otherwise he would have had to carry some home!