amy azzaritoceramics

elephant ceramics

by Amy Azzarito

Good morning! Grace hopped on the red eye from LA back to New York last night. So while she gets a little more shut eye, I thought I’d share these ceramics from Elephant Props that have been sitting on my desktop for a couple days. I’m a sucker for pretty much anything blue or gray, but the deep-blue shades in these ceramics absolutely kill me — they are seriously perfect. While I love the white pieces too, I’d love to have one perfect blue platter to highlight my mostly white dish collection. Michele Michael’s glazes are inspired by the colors in nature, particularly the colors found near her home in Maine. (She splits her time between Maine and Brooklyn. You can see both homes in her sneak peek!) She pours, drips and brushes the glazes on her pieces to give them that  painterly feel. Michele has a prop house in Manhattan and started making ceramics for the stylists who rent pieces from her. She just opened her online shop this week. Everything has been flying out the door, so be sure to sign up for Michele’s mailing list to find out when she makes more!  — Amy A.

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  • That is quite stunning. Plus, I would like my life to be split between Maine and Brooklyn. If I buy one of these pieces, can I get some of her mojo?

  • Sorry to be negative but I have studied pottery and I can tell you that if you love these that much take an pottery class at your local art organization as anyone could make these within the first week of the class.

    • michelle

      for me, beauty isn’t all about the experience level required for something. some of my favorite pieces of art are things that look very rudimentary or basic. i understand not liking anything, but i wouldn’t actually care if something was made by a beginner. if i think it’s beautiful i’m not going to care who made it, just that it strikes a chord with me.


  • I second the bid on her mojo — how does one make this Maine/Brooklyn life happen?
    I love the bowl with the white rim, it’s a perfect contrast.

  • ohmyGAH!! in college, i chose to make prints instead of ceramics because i could imagine more possibilities for prints, but if i had only *known*!! these are incredibly luscious and make me want to get my hands on some CLAY!

  • Canvas texture? Really? I thought ceramic design from the 70’s had rightfully been retired? There are so many more fresh ideas in ceramics design out there!

  • I love the rustic feel of these pieces – and the colors, just gorgeous. And Michele divides her time between Brooklyn and Maine — gah!, my dream!

  • These look like a high school ceramic project. Roll it over some fabric, cut it out, bend. Done. The blues are pretty though.

  • I must admit I am slightly disappointed to see these up on design sponge. I understand everyone is drawn to different things, but as a ceramic artist I am worried about these pieces being sold as food safe and functional at elephant ceramics. When raw clay is exposed on the food serving side or even just small seams in the glaze, that can create a breading ground for bacteria and possible leaching over time. I hope people do look into owning handcrafted ceramic tableware, but be careful and get the facts before you shop!

    • kendra

      are you sure the “exposed” parts here aren’t covered with a clear glaze? i would be really surprised if she was selling these like that. i’ll email her to double check, but that’s a pretty big issue to have and i would assume (and hope) she thought about that before selling them and sending them around to the press.


  • I would hope so, but its hard to tell from the pictures. If there is a clear glaze covering the entire piece it would be food safe. Her FAQ on her website say the edges and underneath are raw. Bottom of work is not an issue, but you have to be careful with around the edges with food and raw clay. I have just been trained that is something to leave for decorative work only. Thanks for getting back to me and I hope I did not come off as a negative nancy!

  • Thank you for all the lovely comments about my ceramics! I truly appreciate it!

    I do see that there are some misinformed comments regarding
    my ceramics. Kendra, you could have contacted me directly to ask me whether my pieces are food safe. I would have been happy to speak with you.

    In response, some of my pieces are meant for dinnerware and some are decorative. If a piece I am selling is not food safe then I clearly state that in it’s description on my online shop. As a design element I often leave my rims unglazed. This is possible since I use high-fired porcelain that vitrifies becoming non-porous. There are many examples of functional ceramics where the rims are not glazed such as the work of Heath Ceramics. Any one with questions is welcome to email me at into@elephantceramics.com.

    Thank you, Amy and Grace, for the beautiful write-up on my pieces!

  • michele has rocked the food photography world with her one- of -a- kind pieces that look great with all kinds of food on them. i get major oohs and ahs on shoots whenever i rent them and am so thankful she has made them available! keep firing, michele!

  • i love the texture and how organic they look. i’m sure that Michele has incredible skills as a ceramics artist and this is just one look.

    i also love that finally i see a site where if someone is not crazy about an entry they can say so. being totally kind about it, of course.

    maybe this will be inspirational to others to join the clay revolution!