I’m quite fond of this serving bowl. It’s got this cool variegated blue glaze, with swirls of grays and blues with bits of browns and whites. (I’m sure that someone with more knowledge of pottery could tell me what it’s called.) It has a nice shape, and it’s a great size for mixing up a salad or whatnot, or serving chips at a party. It’s also dishwasher safe, which means that I don’t avoid using it. It’s beautiful and sturdy, an object that gracefully nods towards both form and function.
A woman I worked with gave it to me at a going away gathering when I left my job as assistant manager of a bookstore, before starting grad school, which was now 9 years ago. I think the occasion for the gift-giving was my civil service wedding, which was a couple of weeks or so before. It was a totally unexpected gift, as the coworker and I were more friendly acquaintances than friends. I haven’t seen her since then, but her gift became one of my favorite household items.
That bowl has become a sort of gold standard for me for gifts: an item that is both useful and aesthetically pleasing.