Meet The Face Behind


A BRIKA maker story

Lauren Burman


“I’m sure you have someone in your life who inspires you,” says Material Good founder Lauren Burman. “My grandmother Shirley Larson was that person for me. When she was diagnosed with cancer, I decided to do something positive to honor her.” In 2009, Lauren took a leap of faith (always encouraged by Grandma Shirley!) and opened her own ceramics studio. Ever since, she has been crafting Little Shirley vases, as a tribute to her grandma, to raise money for cancer research and to encourage sharing special moments. Ten percent of profits from the vases go towards cancer research, and the vases themselves have come to carry significant meaning for friends, family, and customers. “Little Shirley vases seem to bring out personal stories and encourage conversations around difficult issues,” says Lauren.

Known for their extreme precision and dedication, Material Good potters take great care to ensure that each Little Shirley vase is one-of-a-kind. Made from local Washington state clay, the vases are individually slip-casted, hand-finished on a wheel, and fired twice in a kiln that reaches temperatures as high as 2,200 °F. Every vase is then hand-glazed, sanded and stamped with the authentic Material Good logo. Start to finish, this entire process takes about one week.

Ultimately, Lauren hopes her hand-crafted vases inspire people to become engaged members of their communities. She also hopes that her vases help foster understanding for the joys and losses that effect us all--and inspire us too!