Handmade animal figurines have definitely gained traction over the past few years, on sites like Etsy. These small artisanal goods bring a little more joy into our lives, especially during a time when many of us are feeling isolated, sad, or lonely.
Lithops Studio is one of those companies, and they aim to lighten the emotional load that many of us experience. The creator, Chien Nie, says she made her ceramic creations with the hope that they “help bring a little light to the quiet place within you. Slow down, breathe, and be present.” She explains that she sends out blessings with each of her work and messages.
In a sense, these little ceramic creatures and illustrations represent meditation and mindfulness. They’re a reminder to clear the clutter and make room for calm and lightness.
Chien Nie always shares her process alongside her creations, in the caption. Take this family of foxes, for instance. She shows us the steps from pre-firing to post-glaze firing, and more. The foxes have tiny houses on their backs that can hold sprigs and/or incense sticks.
Similar to Nie’s unique house foxes, are these irresistible teeny lemon bears! She asks us: “when life brings you lemons, would you take them if they were toted on a tiny bear’s back?” The answer is obviously yes. This is a better way of telling someone to turn their lemons into lemonade.
We adore how her little animal inventions frequently have a purpose besides being cute, although they are the definition of adorable. Take these fox planters, for instance. How could you stay in a bad mood with these sweet little creatures looking at you, especially with your favorite plants inside of them.
Her work is symbolic, in a sense. Nature works in harmony together, and her small animals help house other forms of life, like little sprigs, herbs, or plants. In this image is a mint flower and blue pea sprigs.
This artist isn’t averse to getting a little abstract- in fact, we love when she does. This series is called “WAI” and was inspired by the intention of sculpting without a specific form in mind, to make more amorphous shapes that only develop their identity post-glazing.
Chien also did a series of saucers and dishes that can hold your keys, accessories, and a plant friend if you buy one with a divot. Honestly, who could be a better security guard for your items than this sweet lil’ fox who definitely has your back.
Though most of the creations are meant for a tabletop or surface, we’re swooning at these moth wall hangings. She describes the design as “tedious and finicky” to make, but worth it. Some have divots for sprigs, but one of these cuties actually has its own fluffy antennae pre-sculpted on!
If you find yourself needing a reminder to stretch and move your body daily, consider this entourage of stretching cats, with metallic gold details. Place them on your desk or shelves for some friendly company and movement buds.
If you don’t want figures to add more clutter to your home or can’t think of a place to put them, wear them around your neck! These apples, leaves, animals and lucky stars, all have a little hook on them, to go easily on a chain. Imagine making a charm bracelet out of these beauties.
It’s rare that she makes something that’s larger than a trinket, but when she does, it’s so stunning that fans slide into her comments asking her to recreate another! The master of porcelain calls it this cloudy beauty “fox cave vessel” and includes artful golden illustrations around a small cavern in which a sleepy fox lies.
The pendants aren’t the only time this artist has experimented with turning her pieces into jewelry. These little swallows are pictured on 14k gold hoops. They’re even beautiful styled alone on a sprig as she has here, if your ears aren’t pierced.