Edmund de Waal
Perhaps one of the most famous ceramic artists—his work appears in museums around the world -- de Waal started by making inexpensive, functional stoneware but progressed to taking classical shapes and subtly manipulating them with pinches or textures. The British artist is also the best-selling author of The Hare With Amber Eyes.
The organic inspiration—leaves, chrysanthemums, feathers—is unmistakable in this Japanese-born artist’s delicate porcelain boxes and bowls. Her current work is inspired by Wedgwood’s 200-year-old Jasperware sprigging technique.
A cross-dressing ceramicist, Perry could be reduced to a one-liner for his vases, which have included sexually explicit painted scenes and won him the Turner Prize in 2003. But he continues to challenge the idea of pottery as purely decoration and is also working in textiles, printmaking, and even performance art, which often critiques consumerism.
In the hands of this eclectic artist, domestic ceramics mutate as he incorporates images of power plants and genetically ID’d cows on salvaged Spode bone china (see his “Cumbrian Blue(s)” series). This is artsy stuff you may actually be tempted to use.