Rachael Scharf has always liked learning about what tools people keep in their kitchens. As a student at Franklin and Marshall College in western Pennsylvania, she studied anthropology and dabbled in making her own ceramics on the side. After moving to Washington, D.C., and enrolling in a pottery wheel course, it suddenly felt like the right time to take things to the next level. "It was my first experience throwing, and I became totally hooked," she remembers. So much so that she ended up spending seven months in Florence, spinning together her love of history with her clay fascination. As she says, "It was sort of like my version of an MFA year—when I learned how to combine functional work with the conceptual side of clay.”
After her DIY Italian education, Rachael moved to New York where, to hone her skills, she “buckled down and made what feels like millions of pots." And not just pots, either—fittingly, Rachael is a master at building ingeniously useful pieces that still have a gorgeously handmade feel, like citrus reamers, slotted sponge holders, and garlic graters. They’re the kinds of things you can only imagine would impress whatever lucky researcher finds them a century from now.