I first met Karen and Stephanie in my previous job, when organizing a local street fair inviting local small businesses who represented diversity, equity and inclusion. At the end of the fair, I had the opportunity to purchase two white mugs which I instantly fell in love with and wanted to make available for more customers to discover and experience their beautiful works.
As a woman-owned company, there are unspoken words and understanding on the sisterhood of also being Asian. Having grown up in the US with the dichotomy of having an ethnic heritage rooted in culture introduced by way of our parents, family, different foods we ate & the foreign languages we spoke, quickly bands us together to want to build community and a support system.
I've written about my mother who was an amazing mother foremost, and a gifted creative ceramic artist. Upon meeting these talented women and falling in love with the ease of use and aesthetic of the tea mugs reminded me of her. Through the mugs, I could re-live my mother's young & youthful energy, vitality and sheer love and passion for her ceramic medium I experienced as her child. Yes, she had a potter's wheel and kiln in our basement. My mother's beautiful pieces decorate my kitchen, moved so many times as I relocated for my jobs across the country. There is nothing more warming and comforting than pairing each hand-made, thrown, trimmed, glazed & fired, artisanal piece with your favorite tea or beverage of choice. Here is Ceremony in their words:
Ceremony is a small ceramics studio located in the International District of Seattle, WA run by three friends who met in a community center ceramics class. In 2019, Steph and Karen partnered to do what we thought would be a one-time sale of teacups. In the community center studio, we stamped our first teacups with handmade clay stamps that read 차 or 茶, tea in Korean and Chinese. Under a line called Seven Spice, we created functional ceramics inspired by the Taiwanese and Korean dining tables of our childhood.
Shortly after our first sale, we opened our very own studio with our friend Corey. Sitting on the floor of our brand new, tiny, and empty studio, the three of us ate pizza and dreamed of the kinds of works we wanted to create in our new space. We named the studio Ceremony.
To us, the practice of combining earth with water and fire to create ceramics is sacred and ceremonial in itself. Our hope is that the pieces that we make can enrich daily rituals and ceremonies of those who use them, whether it’s a meal, a meditation, or a celebration.
A year later after discovering Ceremony, we are all excited to launch a line of Matcha bowls, teacups and mugs through Keys to Teas.
"We designed each form—with their subtle curves, weight, and feel—with Key to Teas matcha and tea in mind, and hope they bring you as much joy as they bring us."