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Perfectly Imperfect

Perfectly Imperfect Handmade Pottery

The Japanese term ‘wabi-sabi’ refers to embracing the imperfect, the beauty of things modest and humble. We find this term appropriate for our pottery. A Persian proverb states “A Persian Rug is Perfectly Imperfect.” This description captures the inherent spirit of handmade pottery:  “perfectly imperfect.”

Our pottery is made by people who handle and shape each piece in many stages prior to the finished pottery arriving in your home. Every step, from mixing clay, forming, finishing, glazing, painting, firing, packing, and shipping, is completed by people. Each piece of our pottery goes through at least eight pairs of hands before finding its way into your hands.

Our collectors value Emerson Creek because it is handmade in the USA, because we are committed to sustainable practices in our production and packaging, because it is made without toxins like lead and cadmium, because it has character.

Emerson Creek Pottery’s perfectly imperfect character tells the story of its origins, of the people who made it, of its journey from a lump of clay to a functional vessel. This character creates a unique pottery line for your home, one which embodies “the beauty of things imperfect.”

Once a piece is shaped, it is finished by hand which may result in subtle differences in a handle, rim or wall. You will find varying glaze thickness on each piece which imparts subtle color and texture variations. These variations, rather than being ‘imperfect’ or ‘flawed’, provide unique qualities inherent in handmade pottery. Each piece is unique, like people, trees, and flowers. Expect subtle differences in glaze thickness, color and design between each piece of a given collection. This is expected and embraced in a handmade product. No two pieces are alike.

‘Perfect’ pottery is churned out in mass-production, machine-driven factories, with often questionable working conditions and ingredients. Our hands-on approach offers an alternative. Each of our collections has its own character and style: rustic and organic Go Green Earthware and Dogwood, lustrous and simple American Blue  and Copper Clay, and our many Handpainted designs. Which collection fits your aesthetic? Order one piece from a collection or two and examine our glazes and designs up close. Once you know the particular design is right for you, continue to add to your collection.

Celtic Knotwork Shortbread Pan
Old Shortbread Pan

Within our Hand Painted Collection, each piece really is hand painted; therefore each design is similar, but not identical to another. Each artist has an individual style as well, imparting their own unique artistry to each piece. One Field of Iris mug may have two buds, another three. A Lavender design may have slight variations in leaf and stem angle. These subtle differences are part of the appeal of a handmade product, whether textile, pottery, food or furniture.

The desire for a rustic or ‘imperfect’ pottery aesthetic is growing. Within the restaurant industry, the slow and local foods movement is being presented on organic earthy dinnerware which perfectly showcases colorful healthy foods. Our Go Green Earthware Collection provides a warm, centered aesthetic to showcase chef presentations.

The beauty of our Go Green Earthware Collection is its inherent variability in glaze hue and surface texture. The appeal rests within its rustic character. Go Green Earthware’s glaze texture is solid to the touch and provides a sure grip. This quality is especially welcome in the kitchen when busy hands are covered with cooking ingredients. Go Green and Dogwood provide a surface which will not slip through your fingers due to their matte glaze. Each pottery piece offers subtle variations in form, glaze and design while maintaining a unified look within their collections.

For almost forty years, our artisans have been making Emerson Creek Pottery in Virginia, one piece at a time, in the handmade tradition. When you hold our pottery you can feel this tradition and the craftsmanship of our artisans. We are proud to continue the American Made Pottery Tradition and to offer “the beauty of the imperfect” for your home.