Hakeme Breakfast Set for Two

Matthew Foster
Inspired by the Mingei philosophy of finding beauty in everyday objects, this Hakeme Breakfast Set for Two by ceramicist Matthew Foster, is exclusive to The New Craftsmen.

This breakfast set forms part of a functional series of pieces, which draw upon the Leach legacy, as well as the vernacular styles and forms of medieval pottery. Made up of two side plates, two high bowls and two mugs, Matthew aims to showcase the making process in each stoneware set, rather than obscure it. Through the use of dolomite glaze and the gestural brushwork of the Hakeme technique, Matthew aims to infuse his work with the spirit of the past, resulting in pieces of enduring value. The organic nature of painting results in every individual piece being unique. This set is also available in bespoke combinations, please enquire for further details.

Material: Stoneware, dolomite glaze, slip
Side Plate: Diameter 20cm, Height 2.5cm
High Bowl: Diameter 16cm, Height 8.5cm
Mug: Width 13cm, Depth 10cm, Height 10cm
Due to the handmade nature of these pieces, exact dimensions may vary slightly.
Care Instructions Hand wash in warm soapy water

image Tenmoku
image Wood Ash
Lead Time: 6-8 weeks


For this set, Matthew uses the traditional Hakeme technique, which has been practised in Japanese ceramics for centuries, initially invented by Korean potters for whom it was known as gye yal. First the stoneware is thrown and then trimmed into forms. Matthew then applies a black slip, then carefully applies thick layers of white slip with a dry straw brush, ensuring the gestures of the brushstrokes remain visible. Once dried and bisque fired, the pieces are then glazed with a dolomite glazed mixed using raw materials, then fired one final time at a high temperature in a reduction kiln. The black slip is turned blue by the dolomite gaze and shows through where the white slip is thinner, highlighting the brush strokes from the straw bristles which are synonymous with the hakeme pottery tradition.
The Maker Matthew Foster Ceramicist - South West England

Ceramics artist Matthew Foster studied Fine Art at Kent University and after winning the Seasalt Bursary in 2009, he became an apprentice at Leach Pottery in Cornwall. Alongside growing his individual practice, Matthew continues to work as the Studio Production Manager at Leach Pottery and draws much inspiration from his contemporaries there. In line with an on-going exploration of the Mingei Philosophy (focusing on the beauty of ordinary, everyday craft), he is currently exploring peasant stonewares of the Korean Yi dynasty, Gongxian pottery, Tang dynasty, and porcelain pots from the Chinese Sung period.