Launching from a 1,500-square-foot loft in the heart of Birmingham’s Civil Rights district in 2017, Katherine Tucker’s line of hand-thrown pottery, Civil Stoneware, came imbued with a sense of soul.Years in, her still-humble shop and studio offers at least a half-dozen clay bodies and twice as many glazes—from glossy to matte, speckled to sheer, even hand-painted motifs by Savannah artist Prerana Karki. “My desire is for these to become heirlooms,” says Tucker, whose elegant silhouettes are christened with sophisticated, French-inspired names stemming from a stint she spent in Switzerland as a teen. On the heels of a recent holiday collaboration with Birmingham graphic designer Tyra Robinson—whose proceeds benefited the nearby Civil Rights Institute—Tucker gave Luxe the scoop.
You offer several unusual silhouettes. What are your favorite functional pieces? I love utilitarian items I can use around the house. The mortar-and-pestle is as good for a chef as it is beautiful on the shelf.
Your tiny tea bowls are also perfect for corralling items on a desk. Do you see other decorative uses for your pieces? Our huge, sculptural Underwood bowl was so popular we couldn’t keep it on the website. It’s a great art piece for grander homes with room for a larger vessel.
What makes your wares special? As kooky as it sounds, I’d say they carry the presence of the maker, whether it’s their frequency or just the tangible evidence of the artist’s hand. There’s a connection, a bond, something unseen. To be in people’s homes is a big deal. And that’s an honor for me.