Elizabeth Lavin

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These Dallas Artisans Help You Make the Perfect Table

These local artisans deliver the goods to help you set up dinner just right. All you need to provide is food and guests to impress.

We love beautiful things made close to home. Dallas has talented makers who ply their skills in ways that will grace your table. A food blogger, a line cook, a jewelry-maker, a seasoned ceramicist are all local artists who will help you nest—whether you’re welcoming guests into your abode or setting up an intimate oasis.
  1. Your House or Mine Natalie Cross circled through the entire clay-method repertoire before she found her love of hand-building (without a wheel). She favors a natural look for her speckle-patterned slab plates, ceramic spoons, and stoneware buckets. Before Justin Holt’s Salaryman opened, she hand-pressed gingko leaves into rectangular plates and created the napkin rings and skewer holders for the now-closed izakaya.
  2. Vincent Aprons Andrew Bowman, a sous chef at Homewood, started making aprons on his grandmother’s vintage Singer sewing machine. His creations—in timeless denim neutrals or bold-striped cotton—are chef-tested, with pockets for markers, tweezers, and towels. Plus, the waxed canvas version helps those leery of spatters in the high-heat, high-grease antics of the home grill. Look for his work on chefs around town (hint, start with Homewood).
  3. Oak Cliff Pottery A masterful potter, James Olney celebrates the sleek beauty of porcelain and the tradition of wood-firing. Feldspar wedged into the clay gives his work a craggy quality, with thick, chunky asperities. Working with a wood-fired kiln, he’s learned to let the inferno’s heat and ash pile-up determine each pot’s idiosyncrasies of shape and surface—each object tracing the history of a process that dates back hundreds of years.
  4. The Good Taste Lama Lama Asmar—born in Saudi Arabia and a denizen of Sri Lanka, Egypt, Jordan, Italy, and Iraq at various points in her life—makes playful yet sophisticated table toppers. The Good Taste Lama began as a food blog but burgeoned last spring into a line of clever placemats and flatware pouches that channel her love of travel through vibrant, eclectic fabrics. They’re meant to inspire “laughter and sharing stories around the table.”
  5. Marcello Andres Ceramics Marcello Andres Ortega has made tableware for Beverley’s, José, and the newly opened Meridian; mezcal copitas for Ruins and La Viuda Negra; and tasting menu plates or fermentation jars for the Adolphus Hotel and Khao Noodle Shop. A new line of plates and coffeeware can match what you’re seeing when dining out.
  6. NB Makes Nicole Bernard’s rainbow-hued handled mugs satisfy her creative duality. The design inside the handles is her way of marrying architecture’s strictures and the beauty of color. She hand-throws and uses 3D printing to prototype her forms and then builds the variegated handles by pressing stacked sheets of colored clay into swirled slabs. She uses the same techniques to make jewelry. It’s her way of blending science and art.
  7. Magic Hour The Magic Hour shop owner Molly Mathias’ father Ken Mathias fashions live-edge cutting boards out of reclaimed East Texas cedar or pine. He likes to let the wood speak, working around small knots and woodgrain undulations for a raw, spirited look. Like any natural element, they age gracefully over time.

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