Ink Dish and family and have been in the dinnerware design business for many years. We were born into it. We started off designing in Staffordshire and Limoges. When Caroline graduated from art school she decided to join her family in the ceramic design business. We began working more and more in the US where she met her husband and eventually settled down in San Diego and started Ink Dish. We were feeling a little creatively stifled by years and years of painting flowers and butterflies and at the same time we were incredibly inspired by the contemporary artists we were seeing in the US: we felt there had to be a market for an alternative more imaginative approach to dinnerware decoration. 4 years ago, with just enough capital to produce one pattern we began a collaboration with tattoo artist Paul Timman. Luckily it was a hit and now we also have collections with Austin artist Alyson Fox, Cleveland artist Dana Oldfather, and LA artist David Palmer.
We choose artists based on many factors but the main one is ‘do I love it?!’ It also has to be something we haven’t seen on dinnerware before and it has to translate well into a decal. If there are too many subtleties that are going to be lost in the manufacturing process, then the artist isn’t going to be happy and neither are we. The dinner plate shouldn’t be over decorated, so artwork that packs a punch with a lot of negative space around it and is still recognizable as that particular artist’s work, is what we’re looking for.
Retailers have responded very positively to our innovative approach and we have a great collection of design focused independent home stores and museum shops across the US and overseas who seem to like the story behind our product.