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Object of the day: self-loathing ceramics

Had enough of schmaltzy, smug personalised homewares? So has Keaton Henson, whose refreshingly honest debut range of ceramics you can see here.

Above: in case you can't read the text, it says: "This cup is on the theme of self-loathing"

Henson, however, is the kind of 26-year-old over-achiever it'd be easy to hate, imagining him to harbour some of his own smugness. The youthful musician and artist has already released three albums – the first two gained him cult status and love from Zane Lowe, the third, of classical compositions, resulted in a sold-out night at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall. He's also written a book and is working on a poetry anthology, a fourth album and a full-length ballet score. Now he's producing homewares, too. I could warm to the self-loathing theme myself...

Or, at least, it'd be easy to hate Henson if his range of "self-loathing" ceramics, Crooked Darlings, was not not quite so beautiful, darkly funny and, apparently, straight from the introvert's prone-to-self-loathing heart. It also helps a lot that he looks like the imagined off-spring of a young Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.

"Every plate and mug in every shop window seems to have some kind of kooky phrase on it," says Henson by way of context for his collection, the idea for which grew from his last, deeply personal art exhibition, which introduced him to the idea of "playing with traditional domestic design and giving functional objects an emotive voice". 

"I wondered how it would be if they said things we don't tend to say out loud, or held unsettling images among the twee floral designs we're all so familiar with,” he says.

Each piece in the limited edition collection will be marked out of 50 and will be available until Christmas Eve. Prices range from £20 for the tea-towel, £35 for the cup and saucer and go up to £60.

Buy from Crooked Darlings and find out more about Keaton Henson at his website.

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