Breaking the Rules


Hand-Built Modernist Ceramic Studio Vase with Lapis, Gunmetal and Verdigris Glazing by Kate Vogler (LEO Design)


Decades ago, I made the decision to prioritize antique and vintage ceramics pieces in my store.  Although contemporary studio ceramics were often superior to the older, mass-produced pieces (in terms of finish, execution and attention to detail), I simply did not have the shop space to display both types properly.  I had to choose one or the other and I sided with the antique pieces. 

Nevertheless, intriguing "new pieces"— by living ceramicists—would occasionally cross my path.  I recognized their quality, artistry and rarity (as they usually were made in very small batches, and were sometimes a "one-off" specimen).  So I make the very occasional exception and spring for a contemporary piece (when I cannot help myself).

The piece above, made by British ceramicist Kate Vogler, was crafted around the year 2000.  As I am highly-swayed by interesting glazes, this piece nearly jumped into my arms.  Rivers of lapis blue glazing flow past textured verdigris continents—caked with gunmetal metallic crusts.  The vase, viewed as a whole, is reminiscent of a photograph of Earth as shot from the Moon: living, verdant, beautiful.  Click on the photo above to learn more about this handsome piece.


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (

We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques ( or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248