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© Anita Murphy
© Anita Murphy
© Anita Murphy
© Anita Murphy
© All rights reserved

Iona Crawford Topp

Iona Crawford Topp Ceramicist
By appointment only
+353 830221699
© All rights reserved

Ceramics curated for cuisine

  • • Iona creates beautiful everyday objects
  • • She looks for harmony of food and plates
  • • Her work is commissioned by restaurants

Iona Crawford Topp recognises food and how we interact with it as an important part of everyday life, which is why her work is characterised by her matching of food and tableware. Before studying ceramics, she had worked front of house in a fine dining restaurant where she got to know a local potter whose creations the restaurant used, and got to learn more about the ceramic process. Seeing the collaboration with the chefs regarding the design process, the making of the pots and the lifestyle of the potter, Iona knew this was for her. After taking a two-year ceramics skills course by the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland in Kilkenny, she now pursues her work, interacting with many local porters, artists and ceramic masters.

Read the full interview


  • © Dylan Vaughan
  • © Dylan Vaughan
  • © Crawford Topp
  • © Anita Murphy
Photo: © Dylan Vaughan
Textured platter with dipping bowl

This woodfired textured platter with a small porcelain dipping bowl was inspired by the needs of dining. Often the first thing to start a memorable meal is something to share – snacks or bread – that is presented to the table to begin the ceremony of eating. Iona Crawford Topp looked to the local coastline along which she walks every day, and was inspired by the contrasts between rough textured stones and fine, smooth shells with movement in everything. These observations were the starting point to design this piece.

Height 10 cm
Width 15 cm

Photo: © Dylan Vaughan

Heavy, dramatic textures become commonplace at the coast, the landscape is constantly changing and moving. Iona Crawford Topp wanted to convey this dramatic movement in her work. She began playing with cutting into rough clays, stretching, and hitting them to create texture. The wood firing process adds rich color but also subtleties to the surface of the clay, mimicking weathered rocks.

Height 15 cm
Diameter 11 cm

Photo: © Crawford Topp
Tableware and small bowls

Taking classical shapes, Iona Crawford Topp has used a rough dark clay, which is then woodfired and finished with an old Chinese glaze recipe to create tableware that really speaks to the landscape. With the underside of the pieces left unglazed, the flames have toasted the raw clay, leaving them tactile and earthy. When designing tableware, Iona thinks of what type of food will be eaten from them. The upward flared angle of the bowls is inviting and tame the food within.

Height 21 cm
Diameter 19 cm

Photo: © Anita Murphy
Wide rimmed bowl

Iona Crawford Topp was commissioned by The House Restaurant in Waterford to make tableware. The chef, Ian Doyle, has a style of cooking that is very much in tune with the surroundings and the seasons. She designed tableware to showcase his cooking and to complement the food. She decided to make uncomplicated yet refined tableware, with delicate glazes that would not detract from the food itself but enhance it.

Height 8 cm
Width 20 cm

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