Crafts: Personalized Porcelain Plates

By Cameron Woo, September 2016, Updated June 2021
Dog Personalized Porcelain Plates

Dinnerware available in 9" round dinner plates and 7" round salad plates, plus square plates, platters and small appetizer-size dishes.

Alexandra Thurston gives us added incentive to clean our plates at mealtime: so we can enjoy the portraits that adorn her ceramic ware. In creating her porcelain portraiture, Thurston combines three passions—ceramics, printmaking and dogs. She’s had her hands in clay since she was six and studied printmaking at college, concentrating on wood block printing. She says that dogs were always her favorite subject. As she renewed her interest in ceramics, some of her old prints made their way onto her pottery. Soon, she was creating custom portraits of friends’ dogs and applying them to plates. Today, she uses the linocut technique, carving the portraits into a sheet of linoleum from photos provided by her customers, essentially creating a large stamp.

The plates and platters are made with sheets of porcelain clay run through a slab press. Each plate is hand molded, and the image is transferred to the plate using a black underglaze and an ink roller. Upon request, the dog’s name is applied manually with rubber alphabet stamps. The plates are fired with a clear glaze to add a light sheen and to make them dishwasher safe and microwavable. Because the plates are handmade and hand-printed, each has a special charm and character all its own.

Alexandra grew up as an only (human) child, but shared her early years with a liver-spotted Dalmatian named Truffles, who joined the family every night at the dinner table. We think this could be the real source of inspiration for these fanciful plates. Who wouldn’t want to share a meal with these adorable pup plates? 

Article first appeared in The Bark, Issue 86: Summer 2016

Photographs courtesy of Alexandra Thurston

Cameron Woo is co-founder of The Bark magazine, and was its Publisher for over two decades. He was also the magazine’s Art Director.