Looking for dinner party trick? Confuse your friends by passing the potatoes in a cantaloupe-shaped Vegetabowl. Because yes, they are as clever as their name implies. Handmade by husband-and-wife team Melanie and Justin Mckenney, these slip-cast ceramics are translated directly from nature’s own designs, which means their cabbages, pineapples, heirloom tomatoes and more seem startlingly realistic.
Vegetabowls came about while Melanie was teaching pottery; for a lesson in mold-making, she used a fresh piece of produce. It turned out so well, she and Justin—both MFA grads—decided to expand upon the concept and try casting a variety of fruits and veggies. Lured by the range of unique textures and colors, soon enough they’d outgrown their farmer’s market and mastered the art of slip-casting just about any fresh food they found. (Good thing Melanie hadn’t used a slice of pizza in her original demo!)
The Buffalo-based couple continues to make every single Vegetabowl by hand, which are not only loved by the likes of Oprah and Martha, but sees them sold at New York’s Museum of Arts and Design (in addition to Fresh STORY!). And despite being carefully handcrafted and glazed to a brilliant sheen, each is food-safe and dishwasher friendly.
Whether you’re looking for a cool piece of decor or to inspire some healthy eating habits at home—because what’s more fun than eating a grapefruit out of a ceramic grapefruit—locally grown Vegetabowls are ripe for use.