About Us

Something made of the hand is so special, it inherently adds soul and dimension within a space.

The Urban Kiln is a modern handmade ceramics and pottery store based in Richmond, Virginia, an offshoot site of Potter's Place in Mumbai, owned by contemporary potter Shalan Dere. With Kalyani Dere at the helm, the mother-and-daughter in tandem both answer the call of color and clay. Handmade artisan pottery becomes a brilliant alternative to cookie-cutter items that pervade local stores.

With two decades of pottery, Shalan works behind the wheel to carve each hand built ceramic creation, helming inspiration from India's sun-drenched landscape that celebrates nature, tradition, and family. The self-taught handmade potter makes use of different techniques—from wheel throwing, pinching, and coils or simply by using slab method. Sometimes there are multiple techniques in use too. Most of her regular work is fired in a gas kiln, in oxidation but some very special pieces are also made using alternate firing methods like Raku [a Japanese technique that results in an overlay of bright, vibrant hues], Saw-dust firing as well as Sagar firing.


Shalan's best skill, however, is listening to the clay—allowing time to let her discover how the medium wants to be shaped in her hands. The result: a grand array of stunning, unique pieces, all brimming with delightful, earthy palettes that give a grounded aesthetic to every home.


“There is beauty in imperfection and having items that are really handmade,”

As Shalan makes each ceramic delicately by hand, no two items are alike. This gives an individual touch to each of her works, with a slight variation in shade, lines, painting, and calligraphy. Sameness is shunned. No molds are used as each item is handpainted and handcrafted with love.

An artist herself, Kalyani follows her mother's path by creating The Urban Kiln, a designer ceramics company that showcases Shalan's work and passion. Here, Kalyani incorporates art into the home, bringing to life contemporary ceramics that add joy to the dining table. Each handmade porcelain is laboriously shaped with skill and patience so that families can feel the grounded of nature of its shape and design.

More than just stoneware, the bespoke ceramics at The Urban Kiln are intended to find a spot in your everyday moments whether it is dinner with the family or a festive celebration with your favorite people. Based in Richmond, VA, the pottery store carries sustainable ceramic plates, bowls, contemporary tableware, and dinner sets.

From a potter's hand to yours, discover the warmth of artisan tableware graciously crafted for your joyful modern living.

©2019 by The Urban Kiln