Romancing the STONEWARE: Emerging Era of Tabletop Design

04.30.14 | By
Romancing the STONEWARE: Emerging Era of Tabletop Design

With pottery dating back to the Neolithic period, designers have been reinventing the clay plate forever. That’s why this month we’ve chosen to focus on products made from ceramic, porcelain, and stoneware that surpass your typical ideas of tableware.

At Pinch, we’ve launched ourselves on a deep mission to design beyond the plate. From finding non-food related objects to incorporate into our installations, to creating our own food furniture and serving pieces. And now that food has become the muse to so many product designers and artists, we are starting to see more and more attempts at reinventing how we eat. It’s an exciting time.

Here are some of our new favorite products that had us running to the kitchen to start experimenting. Again, not all of these designs were originally intended to display food – but that’s never stopped us before!

Photo by Masha Bakker

Photo by Masha Bakker

Luscious Food Cravings is the brainchild of Ido Garini (Studio Appetit) and Lenneke Wispelwey. Their porcelain set of dishes, first seen at Dutch Design Week, is intended to redefine how food is presented and eaten, ultimately adding visual appeal and increased value to the experience. The various angular ceramic objects and mirrors challenge tableware standards, and in their words is a, “multidisciplinary experience design that considers food and eating.”

Photo by Masha Bakker

Photo by Masha Bakker

Photo by Masha Bakker

Photo by Masha Bakker


Jurrijn Huffenreuter’s new Blocks project is part of a self-coined craft movement called Open Craft, enabling individuals the freedom to create a range of products through low-tech, basic materials and processes. His mold system allows for an endless combination of shape-forming resulting in countless end-uses, as demonstrated above. Open Craft becomes a way to involve the user in the design process, a process which reveals itself in its end appearance and bears evidence of the designer-user collaboration.

Picture cubes filled with crudité and dips or berries and chocolate ganache creating a stunning horizon of edible treats placed on your dining table or built from the ground up!



Hooks, also by Jurrijn Huffenreuter, is a flexible coat hanging system. By connecting the ceramic Hooks in different configurations, you can create your own custom coat hanger or if you’re Pinch Food Design, you can cluster many of these together and suspend warm homemade Bavarian pretzels to greet your guests with an edible coat check area!



Did we mention we like to hang stuff? Usually we find a piece we like, and then figure out how to hang it. But with this beautiful collection from Incipit Lab they’ve already figured that part out! Inspired by the metal cage used to block champagne corks, Ilaria Innocenti designed Muselet, a series of bowls in machine-turned ceramic, enriched by a copper-coated curved steel wire which envelopes the bowl, creating a handle.



Though we are serious about food design, we tend to not take ourselves too seriously. And thus, humor is one of our favorite ingredients when creating a food experience. With little legs that dangle off the sides of tables, squat flat on the floor and have little handles on the sides that look like arms, these adorable ceramic Sitting Plant Pots designed by Wacamole are perfect for an unexpected food installation at your next soiree. Designed to brighten the corners of your space with a touch of humor, every pot is naturally imperfect, modeled and decorated individually by Luis Llamas and Lydia of Piñera in their workshop.


TJ Girard is a sought-after food designer and creative consultant, celebrated for staging theatrical, interactive food + beverage experiences. She now resides in California where her creativity is solar powered! TJ writes the Design Milk column called Taste.