Dainty gold trim on the edge of a white dessert plate, a large, pale gray mugged speckled with charcoal ideal for coffee on chilly mornings, a grooved bowl ready for hot soup — it’s no secret that dishware defines the food we eat, making it more appetizing and adding to the overall dining experience. And sure, what goes on the plate, in the cup or ladled into the bowl is arguably what matters most, as the thing that brings people together. But crafting dishware is both about creating a tool to feed us and about being beautiful, something that Cameron Bishop of Beau Rush Ceramics understands well.
After studying in art in San Francisco and then receiving a second degree in Fine Arts Sculpture from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Bishop studied under artists like David Salle and Kerry James Marshall. “I knew what it took to be a great artist,” says Bishop. But after she had her daughter Beau, who is indeed, the “Beau” of Beau Rush Ceramics, she had to figure out how to capitalize on her art directly.
Her experience working in restaurants and nightlife is what led her to creating tableware. She accepted a job to make plates for De Maria, understanding that what food is served on needs to be functional, but also needs to accentuate it — especially since everyone is a food photographer these days.
“A glossy plate makes food look glossy, a matte glaze makes food look like it’s floating,” says Bishop. Appropriately, her tableware sports a matte glaze, adding that “food deserves more than a glossy white plate.” And although something as seemingly simple (to those untrained in ceramics) as a white glaze can take “10 years to master,” Bishop still finds a way to deliver exactly what the chefs and restaurateurs need.
Take her recent work with Eric Ramirez of Llama Inn, a Peruvian jaunt in Williamsburg. Ramirez had a design in mind for a new venture, a ceviche bowl that was a bit deeper in the center so the sauce could pool. It’s safe to say that most diners would dine absent-mindedly, grateful for the savory sauce sitting at the bottom of the bowl for extra dipping. But when you realize that the design is intentional, the experience almost becomes better.
When you look at one of Bishop’s designs, you’ll see something with a lot of texture and not without irregularities, giving your eyes something both well-made and interesting to look at. There’s something to discover each time you use a mug, plate or bowl from Beau Rush. The colors are primarily pastels, soft and soothing, which Bishop hopes gives off a calmness. “Imagine the calming experience of talking with someone while holding a mug,” she says. It’s true comfort, sitting around the kitchen table enjoying some coffee or tea, grasping a favorite mug and talking to people you love, and all that care goes into one of her products.
Ultimately, she understands that in addition to being attractive, her products also have to be sturdy. While delivering some tableware to a restaurant, the chef was surprised at how the ceramics were packaged. “If they can’t survive the car ride, they don’t deserve to be in the restaurant,” says Bishop. It’s about making products that are long-lasting, that won’t get broken so easily during the restaurant’s rush hour.
“Basic-but-cool” is how Beau Rush is described on the website, and that’s exactly what you’ll get. Overall, Bishop is just grateful that she gets to do this and support her daughter who she half-jokingly says is “her fault” Beau Rush Ceramics exists. Bishop’s line of ceramics is functional and made with the food, chefs and customers in mind. They’re a reminder that form and function can create something beautiful when done the right way.
To shop and see the collection visit Beau Rush Ceramics Site