Bongenre: Fancy Melamine Tableware

I recently heard from Jill at Bongenre and thought her work was something lots of us may really enjoy, especially for guests and for setting the "children's table" that so many use during dinner parties when the family gets together. Bongenre is melamine tableware (bowls, plates) with a twist - it's actually quite elegant! Brooklyn-based founder/designer Jill Fenichell spent 15 years as an antique porcelain and pottery dealer specializing in English blue and white porcelain made in the 18th century.

About her designs Jill says, "I get to think about patterns I love, and work out interesting color relationships and rhythms between shape and pattern and color," she adds, "The real question is: how to connect the old to the new...that's what I want to do with my tableware."

Don't miss the Winchester Mandala pattern, available in several gorgeous colorways. I'm really into mandalas right now so these totally speak to me, especially in purple, lime, and winter (oooh) which is PERFECT for an indoor party this winter for January/February when everyone is tired of red and blue and white seems to coordinate so nicely with the snowfall. Perfect for gift giving too!

What do you think of Melamine tableware? Yes, no, maybe? Under what circumstances do you use it currently? Outdoor only? Indoor? Do you use it mainly for food or for decorating (on the walls or on plate racks)? Do you think it's a good option for dinner parties when breaking out the china isn't something you feel up for and paper plates are definitely not on your menu? Is Melamine the happy 'in-between' option for you or...?

(images from bongenre)