The Pasadena curiosity shop Gold Bug has the hand-blown glass of local artist Evan Chambers. Some of his vases have a finish that evokes traditional Tiffany glass but come in forms that pleasingly depart from convention.
$120 to $280, Gold Bug, 22 E. Union St., Pasadena, (626) 744-9963 (Gold Bug)
For more affordable Southern California ceramics, we swung by a recent craft show in Eagle Rock and spotted these earthenware bowls from Lori + Koop. The larger flower bowl with glossy glazed interior and hand-etched matte rim was $35. The smaller bowls with matte white interiors and subtly striped rims were $25 apiece. All are microwave and dishwasher safe.
Sara Petersen makes her stoneware vessels in an Eagle Rock studio and Pasadena kiln. We picked up this small pot for $48; other sizes and shapes were available, all with similarly modern, elegantly minimal designs.
Potted, 3158 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Angeles, (323)-665-3801 (Los Angeles Times)
At the York Boulevard store and interior design office Matters of Space, Highland Park artist Lily King has an ever-changing collection of vases, pots and bowls, all crafted in her L.A. studio.
$50 to $125, Matters of Space, 5005 York Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 743-3267 (Matters of Space)
Humble Ceramics, the line by Los Angeles artist Delphine Lippens, includes these earthy, modern jars with rustic cork lids -- a fresh look at an affordable price for locally crafted ceramics.
$40 to $49, depending on size, DeKor, 2145 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 375-7627. (DeKor)
Ceramic artist Jen Kuroki creates these stoneware vessels out of her home studio in Los Angeles. Each piece is handmade and painted but still can be used in the microwave and put in the dishwasher. An herb or succulent planter, perhaps? Kuroki also makes lovely ceramic pendants, vases and bowls.
Roger Lee, an apprentice to potter Adam Silverman at Heath Ceramics, has been finding an audience for his own designs, which include serving bowls and hanging planters with great palettes and textures. The vase pictured here was $68 at Platform, 5027 York Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 793-9037. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
Roger Lee’s vase shown with a bowl and hanging planter in the same finish. All the pieces shown here were bought for less than $100 at Platform, 5027 York Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 793-9037. The store also carries painted ceramics that Lee makes with Kat Hutter, who blogs under the name Paint + Clay. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
Altadena ceramist Sharon Mann Garrett’s work includes glazed mugs that, when grouped together, have pronounced variations in shape and size that emphasize their handcrafted charm. You can find her varied designs in some local stores, but Garrett also books private showings of her dinnerware in her home.
Mugs $30 apiece, OK, 8303 W. 3rd St. and 1716 Silver Lake Blvd., Los Angeles, and Workshop SK, 3129-1/2 Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village (Mann Handmade)
For the DIYer ready for an AP class, the Highland Park studio Knowhow Shop offers gift certificates for its all-day wood shop classes. Sessions might center on making a garden bench or artisanal cooking implements, but wood nerds will geek out most over learning how to use a CNC machine, the Computer-Numerical Control router that pros use to make the furniture you see in stores. $200, Knowhow Shop, 6019 Echo St., Los Angeles, (323) 257-3000. (Know How Shop, Know How Shop)
The Letterpress Lab, an offshoot of De Milo Design in South Pasadena, lets DIYers rent its production studio to create whatever they want -- cards, posters, coasters and more. Present your favorite “maker” with a gift certificate for a rental, which includes one hour of one-on-one instruction. Or rent the studio yourself to make your own gifts. $100 for five-hour rental, $160 for eight-hour rental, 1401 Mission St., South Pasadena, (626) 403-0317, www.demilodesign.com(De Milo Design)
Made from reclaimed cedar, this 10-inch-long planter from Andrew’s Reclaimed comes with nonskid pads. Plant teacup succulents or cactuses, and you’ve got a modern indoor garden in miniature. $28. (Andrew’s Reclaimed)
Hand-thrown stoneware trays from Terrafirma resemble textiles with a porcelain glaze. Bowls and platters are also available, all dishwasher safe. $80 to $212 at NK Shop, 7221 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 954-9300. (Nickey Kehoe)
Cutest porker ever? Handcrafted in Germany, the Twiggy Piggy Bank is as much smile inducer as savings tool. $88, www.shopterrain.com. (Terrain)
Danish oak storage boxes with sliding lids in a rainbow of plexiglass colors are huge sellers at the design boutique Huset. The boxes, by Nunabee, are all made by hand. They range from 4.25 to 8.75 inches in length, big enough for jewelry, desk accessories and other trinkets. $55 to $88, Huset, 1316-1/2 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, (424) 268-4213. (Huset)
There’s no place like home, especially a well-lighted one. These charming candlesticks from Ladies & Gentlemen Studio are handmade from fir and copper tubing.
$48 for the pair, two candles included. (Ladies & Gentlemen Studio)
Mod potter Jonathan Adler’s latest additions to his ceramic menagerie are matte stoneware figurines accented with colorful, glossy glass. You can choose from owl, fox, lion and koala, all made by hand in Peru. But our fave just might be the 10.5-inch baboon. $78 to $198, Jonathan Adler, 8125 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 658-8390, 1318 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 458-4545. (Jonathan Adler)
Tracy Wilkinson creates stoneware and handwoven basket pots like this Cobalt Cane pot in her Mt. Washington studio. $60 to $150.
Japanese design importer TGS, or Tortoise General Store, released Hasami porcelain plates, bowls and mugs in a new matte black finish earlier this year. Optional oak lids pair well with the stone bowls and can be used separately as serving trays.
$9 to $30 per porcelain piece, $16 to $125 per oak lid/tray, depending on size. 1208 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, (310) 314-8448 (Tortoise General Store)