“When we make a cup, a plate, a bowl or a bottle, we use different materials and methods, but all are containers with a hollow space. The end purpose is not the physical object made by the materials, but the abstract part that we cannot see—the hollow space that has been created to hold or carry something else.”

~Qu Lei Lei, The Tao of Sketching

Portrait Vessels

– Limited Edition Slip-Cast Bowls and Lids –

Portrait Vessels were originally conceived as cremation urns designed to be filled during a person’s lifetime with items of deep personal meaning, ultimately creating a time capsule that tells a life story. Over time, the concept expanded to include use in the kitchen to store grains or dried herbs and as serving bowls for soups and stews.

The lids are representational portraits created from original carvings by local artists. Each portrait conveys the personality or mood of its subject—people or animals, artists and artisans, even the symbolic portrayal of places, cultures and mythologies.

The molds for these limited edition pieces are constructed from original carvings made by a local artist. Each piece is then slipcast, fired and glazed by an artisanat-trained apprentice, using non-toxic and food-safe clay and glazes. Apprentices are trained through a program funded by local businesses and/or individuals.

Portrait Vessels make beautiful gifts for marking important life events, such as birthdays, weddings and personal achievements.