I have a weakness for ceramics - in particular beautiful textures, contrasting glazes and organic - even slightly wobbly - shapes. Bowls, pots, plates or mugs that have that rustic, earthy feel of the hand made and well crafted.
No two cups are the same in my house, with a collection of mugs and beakers from all over the world that I always buy in twos, but I'm forever breaking one in our Belfast sink. If only the handle breaks off then they usually get a cactus put in them.
I would love to have the pages of Monty's filled with artisan pottery and my first venture into commissioning a series began when I found the wonderful work of Jude Allman.
Jude works in her own studio making small batches of 10 or 20 pots at a time and I had already bought myself one of her pouring jugs after falling in love with the rustic design.
"My aim is to make simple handmade pots that are a pleasure to use"
The pouring jug has a gorgeous indigo glaze (indigo being another love of mine), speckled stoneware clay and a fantastic texture created by the sgraffito technique.
I'm thrilled with the beaker version that Jude created for us and have kept two for myself - one for my cup of tea and one for my cactus! To see more of Jude's wonderful work, take a look at her Flickr profile which is full of gorgeous pieces.