4 Malaysian Ceramic Tableware Brands That Enhance The Art Of Plating
1/4 Bangkita Ceramic Studio
Muhammad Iqbal bin Awang is aware that abstract painting and nature made an "accidental mark" upon his psyche, influencing his ceramic creations. Born to a painter father, the second generation artist devoted himself to handicrafts and decorative items such as candle stands and vases before delving into servingware in 2014.
Going for RM20 to RM80 per piece, Bangkita's ceramic pieces are crafted and fired in Telok Panglima Garang, Selangor, but you can get your hands on their wares at lifestyle hub Kedai KL. The company's decorative designs (a very small percentage of their wares are plain) are instantly recognisable at local restaurants and cafés such as Bijan, Concubine, Daun, Huckleberry, Oitom, Pokok, and Monroe at KLoé Hotel.
One of Malaysia's best known names in ceramic arts, BendangStudio's path to success has been sinuous. Starting as a makeshift studio in founder Rozana Musa's backyard, BendangStudio moved into its main premises in Melaka in 2010, ran its first retail pop-up at The Zhongshan Building, and opened an artisan concept store at The Linc KL in 2018.
By staggering its product releases in different stages and as separate collections, the brand manages to keep fans on their toes. Late last year, BendangStudio even shook hands with Japanese casual wear icon Uniqlo to release a one of a kind collection.
TATLER TIP: The word bendang (Malay for rice fields) alludes to the brand's humble beginnings, as Musa's home studio was surrounded by idyllic fields of paddy.
3/4 Clay Expression
A pottery studio that also takes commissions from some of our favourite restaurants, including Northern Italian restaurant Gooddam, Clay Expression goes by the tagline, "Shaping happiness since 2000."
According to Gooddam’s head chef Daniel Law, "We chose to work with Clay Expression as they are very approachable when comes to customisation. Plus, we love their handiwork. Cindy, who owns Clay Expression, is not only easy to talk to, but understands what my team and I are looking for, since we have collaborated since my days running Pop Up Dining KL."
Clay Expression | Lot 757 No 5 Block C, Jalan Subang 3, Petaling Jaya, Selangor | +6012-380 5505 | firstname.lastname@example.org
4/4 Nom Studio
Calling themselves the 'CYs,' Chooi Yau and Chien Yinn run Nom Studio as a passion project, but have daytime jobs in food technology and the legal industry. Both founders of Nom Studio have been wonderfully upfront about their business model from our first encounter:
"We want to be transparent by clarifying that all of our products are produced by overseas potteries; we thought we'd put it out there, as honesty is one of our business values. We are 100% behind supporting local communities—our own kitchens are filled with locally-made tableware—but we started Nom Studio for a different reason."
Sympathising with the majority of Malaysians who cannot afford to fork out RM100+ per dish, Chooi Yau and Chien Yinn have built their business on the tenets of accessibility and affordability; Nom Studio's stocks fall between RM25 to RM50.
TATLER TIP: Whether it's the sculptural Kyoto Kaiseki set or the dusky Marrakech series, Nom Studio's collections are unabashedly 'Instagrammable.'