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The Japanese people have a special word ‘shibui’ to express this ideal beauty…. It is impossible to translate satisfactorily into one English term, ‘austere’, ‘subdued’, ‘restrained’, these words come nearest. Etymologically, shibui means ‘astringent’, and is used to describe a profound, unassuming, and quiet feeling.
— "A Potter's Book" by Bernard Leach, quoting Soestu Yanagi

the maker

I believe the things we use in everyday life should carry meaning, be beautiful, and make us feel grounded.

My name is Megan and I am the one person show behind m. sward ceramics. I create functional, modern ceramics from my home studio in the hills of Western Massachusetts.

I originally studied Studio Art at The College of Wooster, but went on to earn an MS from Smith College in an entirely different field. Like many artists, I felt adrift without being able to create and have had the tremendous opportunity to return to making art.

When I’m not in the basement studio, I attempt to garden and slowly chip away at painting every wall in my home white. I’m also raising a little human and a dog named Butter with my husband, who is an incredible person and never complains when I steal his tools or track clay dust all over the house.

If you’re interested in learning about other makers in Western Massachusetts, the amazing photos on this website were created by photographer Candace Hope and stylist Marisa Filippone.

the ceramics

I work with a white clay that mimics the look of porcelain, but possesses the everyday durability of stoneware. It is locally sourced from Amherst Potters Supply in Hadley, MA. I use a commercial glaze that is both food safe and dishwasher safe. I care deeply about the intended use of each piece and its ability to endure.

I craft every piece over the course of about 4-6 weeks. Between wheel throwing, drying, bisque firing, glazing, glaze firing, and sanding — this process is extremely time consuming, the potential for things to go wrong is always looming, and I love every minute of it.

I tend to lean toward simple, elegant forms — footed bowls, tall cylinders, colanders & berry bowls, simple vases — but I love being inspired by a someone else’s ideas. If there is something you don’t see here, let me know, I love discussing new projects and creating custom pieces.

I am so honored you’re here, that you’ve read this far, and that you have a genuine interest in what I’m creating. It is an understatement to say I’m consistently in awe that anyone cares, so thank you for being here and for your support.

Explore the shop. Get in touch.