Meet the Maker: Haand

  • , by Amber Chase
  • 4 min reading time
Founders of Haand

Tucked inside a small warehouse on a suburban road in Burlington, North Carolina, is a treasury of unique vessels and a team meticulously working to craft each object by hand. 

Haand began in 2012, with cofounders Mark Warren and Chris Pence at the helm. Early childhood friends, Warren and Pence found their paths and passions realigned and launched a handcrafted pottery business with Warren as creative director and Pence overseeing finances. As with many such ventures, they started from humble beginnings working in a farmhouse that lacked potable water and electricity. Striving to keep their vision alive, they slowly and intentionally grew their reputation both locally and globally. They have now been in their Burlington warehouse for five years, and began selling from its retail showroom in 2022. 

Much of Haand’s early business began in the hospitality industry, starting in 2014. From its first restaurant partner, Ashley Christensen's Death & Taxes in Raleigh, North Carolina, the business quickly grew as more and more restaurants recognized the need for durable, functional yet aesthetically pleasing diningware. Haand now works with more than 175 hospitality partners across the globe. While scheming for hospitality is one arm of the business, Haand also leans into a heavy ecommerce presence, shipping their wares across the states carefully nestled in curated packaging. 

Haand ceramics with food on a table

Haand’s ethos is found in their process and their people. It’s easy to see the dedication to craft and community woven throughout each step of production under the direction of community manager Anna Rooney. Haand wares are conceived by creative director Chris Pence and created in a porous mold for design. From here, the porcelain is nestled within a slip cast plaster mold, hand-stamped, fired at 1800 degrees in one of their bisque kilns, hand-glazed for color and texture, fired again at 2300 degrees, then hand-polished. Attention to detail is layered throughout the vessel’s journey, infused with human touch, and tended to with keen eyes. “This instills a distinct sense of pride into each piece,” admires Rooney.

Haand ceramics with pomegranates and whole foods on a table

Haand products are modern, abstract, and distinctly human vessels, meant to be cherished as new heirlooms. Much like china and pottery of centuries past, these vessels are built with both precision and artistry, yet they are surprisingly usable. Rooney notes, “Each vessel is approached from a sense of creativity but also of sustainability and function. Stackability is a feature not often found in fine pottery wares, but it’s a pillar of what makes Haand pottery functional.” Haand vessels are meant to be admired but also to be used. Snuggle up with their large pasta bowl on the couch, splash your morning granola and milk into their breakfast bowl, or sip from their taper mug as you run out the door for morning errands. Incorporating beautiful pieces into daily life sustains a sense of wonder and magic whether you’re plating an anniversary meal or slurping leftover noodles.

As the holiday season approaches, consider visiting the Haand Burlington warehouse to shop for vessels, and find a curated selection from local vendors of wreaths, nut butters, chocolate, coffee, hand-dyed t-shirts, and grains from November 2 through December 23. If you’re unable to visit in person, shop online and explore their new kitchen essentials collection, limited edition hand-painted wares, or their collection in partnership with Vivian Howard

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