Art You Can Eat On

French Bull turns melamine into high art with their Ring pattern dinnerware.

It's time to liven up your place settings! There were some fantastic new dinnerware collections featured at the recent New York International Gift Fair in NYC.

The folks at MacKenzie-Childs keep doing it right, with eye-catching, lovely new patterns coming up in their Spring 2010 ceramics collection (available in January 2010). The Trapeze Dinner Plate (first photo below) is molded in tall relief and handcrafted by M-C's artisans in upstate New York, fired four times, and hand-painted with platinum, copper, and/or gold lustres. Also new for this coming spring will be the bold Flower Market Dinner Plate, part of a handmade enamelware collection with flowers on the top and underside of each piece, framed with a bronzed, stainless steel rim.


French Bull is a delightful collection of melamine dinnerware for adults and children from NYC designer Jackie Shapiro. Her Ring Serving Dish (top photo), Butterfly dinnerware (top photo below), and African dinnerware (second photo below) are striking examples of Shapiro's confidence with colors and patterns. Dinnerware should be festive and special, and French Bull is one of the cool houses that breaks the boring mold of Your Mother's Old Melamine. Busy families should embrace the trend in upscale, durable melamine dinnerware that we found at the Gift Fair this year!


Mud Australia is a Sydney-based handmade porcelain homeware operation featuring hand-poured studio pieces that use only non-toxic, natural materials. The colors have a lovely depth to them, and the irregular handmade shapes of the plates and other dinnerware pieces are heavenly. Mix all the pieces and vary the colors to create memorable place settings (see the two photos below for great combinations).



We have nothing but raves for the concept and execution of the dinnerware collections from Ink Dish. They've taken the best tattoo artists, like Paul Timman from the famous Sunset Strip Tattoo, and had them apply their art to porcelain. Timman, who's inked Drew Barrymore, Ben Affleck, Pamela Anderson and Angelina Jolie, created the lovely Japanese designs in the Irezumi Collection (see photo below).


Thomaspaul Melamine is yet another example of the "melamine revolution," a trend we spotted at the Gift Fair. Designer Thomas Paul Fernez created lines that look more like collector plates than traditional dinnerware (okay, you can probably hang them up on the wall, display them in a curio cabinet, or eat from them; your choice). Coral Deer (first photo, below), a plate from his Victorian Gothic collection (second photo), and a plate from his Hong Kong Garden collection are spirited examples of the superior style currently being brought to durable melamine.



The nature scenes on the dinnerware from Eloquent Ink are most impressive, with lines of dinnerware and serving pieces sporting designs ranging from vines and schools of fish to a new twist on the daisy (see examples of their work in the two photos below). All pieces are handcrafted by EI's artisans, all materials are lead-free and food-safe, and accents abound in 22-karat gold and platinum.


Jay JohnsonComment