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A Feast for the Senses

Locally crafted dishware takes an everyday tablescape to an artistic level.

By Carly Scholl | Photography by Rick Gayle

Whether wheel-thrown or hand-built, monochromatic or awash in layers of glaze, handmade plates, cups and bowls carry the characteristic marks of excellent craftsmanship. Lovingly created by six Arizona-based artists, the pieces on these pages are as at home on your dinner table as they are lauded as works of art.

Before the clay forms are fired, Judith Amiel-Bendheim defines her ceramic bowls with meticulously carved patterns. Hints of color along the outer edges and gleaming glazes within give each creation its own unique identity. $46-$60 (

From top to bottom: 

1. Layers of swirling cerulean and turquoise intermingle with earthy browns and crackled white in Genie Swanstrom’s stoneware Vortex bowl—making it a captivating statement piece long after the meal is finished. $130 (480) 507-8398.

2. Jillian Schimmel’s “Dock + Tide” collection is comprised of ceramic dinner plates glazed in undulating teal ($103/set of four) and minimalistic off-white tumblers ($79/set of four) for a coastal vibe on a desert tabletop. (

3. Cheerful miniature polka-dots festoon Tom Budzak’s chunky ceramic amuse bouche plate, while clusters of raised circles along the permiter add a kinetic appeal. $22-$52 (

4. The hand-built ceramic creations by Sandy Blain contain infinite details, as seen in a small bowl featuring a deep cobalt glaze and a mix of high- and low-relief patterns pressed into the clay. $40 (

From top to bottom:

1. Susan Beiner’s small ceramic bowls bring color and life to a tabletop setting with their various shades and drips of candy-pink, scarlet, violet and lavender. $38 each (

2. Marked with small carvings encircled in white, a shallow, dove-gray plate by Judith Amiel-Bendheim embodies the beauty of simplicity. $44 (

3. An oblong serving bowl is emblazoned with Sandy Blain’s signature relief patterns and a sunset-inspired range of glazes, including foggy gray and soft peach. $85-$135 (

4. Flecked with minute brown spots, each plate by Jillian Schimmel is different from the last, offering an individualistic twist on a more classic dishware set. $82-$103/set of four dinner or salad plates. (


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