Esme (Qining) Lei potter and graphic designer based in Toronto, ON, Canada


You and Fan do full-time creative work. You probably have work related conversations daily. But what about your Sundays? Are they also full of communication and sharing with your loved ones?

We have yet to successfully separate our work from our personal life, but that's because we love this craft so much and are always eager to create more. On most weekends, we teach private classes, so we cherish the Sundays where we have nothing booked and the entire day to ourselves.

When the weather is nice, we like to go somewhere off the beaten path. Southern Ontario where we live is full of national parks and small paths covered in wild vegetation. We would hike slowly, observe wild flowers, weeds, mushrooms, moss, insects, and naturally formed patterns. On our way back, we would forage plants to put in our handmade vases. Our other favourite Sunday destinations are antique and thrift stores. We love collecting one-off vintage home decor pieces and looking for inspiration from old designs. On more gloomy days, we're perfectly satisfied to just stay home, indulge on good foods, binge watch our favourite TV shows or read a book
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It seems that by making ceramic vases, bowls and cups you wish to create a cozy home atmosphere from small details. Could you please talk about how your Sunday lunch looks like?

We tend to eat late breakfast and early dinner on Sundays. Our days start with a good pot of coffee, freshly ground, brewed in a moka pot and enjoyed in one of our handmade cups. On some Sundays, we prepare elaborate Chinese style breakfast that consists of porridge, steamed buns, pickled vegetables, fried eggs and stir-fried side dishes. On days where we feel extremely lazy, we would head out to one of the breakfast spots near our house and devour a classic egg and bacon plater.


Is there something that you just have to do on a Sunday?

One thing we try to incorporate into our life is some kind of ritual, be it brewing a pot of tea the traditional Chinese way, rearrange the flowers in the vases, or repositioning our house plants. So on Sundays, we love to do some of those things in mid-afternoon to remind us to be more present, enjoy the moment and live slow.

Photography: Es Qining Lei @leiqining, Common Goods Studio @commongoodsstudio