While I generally eschew plastic tableware in favor of ceramic and glass, which both last longer and do less damage to the environment (unless you break them), I've had a hard time resisting the many great designs that can be found these days adorning melamine resin plates.
From Thomas Paul to Working Class Studio to French Bull, I could collect stacks of colorful, lightweight plates forever. Nevertheless, the side of me that believes in long-term investment would like to find some sturdier tableware with as much character as the plastic stuff.
At ReadyMade's holiday gift bazaar on December 5th, I found a small, independent company making plates and cups that just might meet these qualifications. Ezme Designs is the Oakland, California, based studio of Chanda Beck and collaborator/partner Christopher Aynesworth. As the Ezme website puts it, their style is inspired by "plants, flowers, seed pods, asian art, retro designs, antiques and grandma's china cabinet."
I was particularly taken with the trim handle and red detail of the retro Rosie mug, and the brilliant crimson color and satisfying heft of the Eva plate. The Ezme wares have the pleasing imperfection of something handmade, and easily straddle the border between antiquey and crafty-modern. A good gift if you're still on the hunt.