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“Once you touch clay, it’s hard to stop,” says Chifen Cheng. An avid cook, Cheng longed for a lightweight mortar and pestle she could hold in her small hands. “I’ve never found one that felt good after grinding spices for a while,” she says. She now makes them for different hand sizes, adding an ergonomic thumb dent on the pestles. Although signs of the artisan’s touch can add to the charm of handmade pieces, she can’t help but aim for perfection: “As a designer, I want everything to be smooth and proportional,” she says. From $65; designlump.blogspot.com.