The Story Behind
Houseware Brand
Source and Tradition
Alexandra Vaga is the maker behind Source and Tradition, a line of slab-pressed and pinched tableware that she and her husband Shayne Boyle make in Bayhead, New Jersey. The fine dinnerware brand, made with raw materials, is best known for its clever use of fabrics to create contrasting textures in raw clay using old woodblocks for printing textiles. 

Home is where the art is

Inspired by coastal life, the artists’ hand-crafted clay vessels emulate a spirited playfulness, each with its own personality and distinct character. Source and Tradition reveals an essence of the ocean, one that feels effortless with a pinch of adventure, much like the world Alexandra has known. Her timeless conversation pieces exude a whimsical elegance in any room, while filling guests with fascination as they admire the shapes and details that make the brand so magical. In fact, it’s no wonder Alexandra was asked to create bespoke dinnerware collections for Celebrity Chef Jean Georges for his signature New York restaurant. 

Alexandra’s voyage toward dinnerware started at the table. She attributes the influence for her brand to her love of food, bringing people together, and her own upbringing. Her paternal grandmother loved to bake homemade cardamom raisin bread with local butter, honey and salt. The serving-ware, placed on top of the table, was made from juniper wood. “I can still remember the smell,” she says. Contrastingly, her maternal grandmother’s table was set with fine ironstone and silver. Alexandra has sat comfortably in both worlds and she aspires for her work to do the same.

“Going far helped me to realize what I have right here”

The road has been winding for Alexandra, from working as an apprentice to becoming an accomplished maker with her own brick-and-mortar store. The wanderlust artisan lived and traveled the world before she settled comfortably to her serene abode where she now resides, nestled between the water on a long stretch of land, where life moves with the tides and seasons. Alexandra notes, “going far helped me realize what I have right here.”

“In the summer months the coastal town explodes with life,” she says. “The sun is blazing, you have the salt water, kids on bicycles riding back and forth from the beach, seafood feasting and people pouring into the studio sharing stories. In the winter it’s quiet. The air is filled with the scent of the sea. You can hibernate or travel … but the streets become still.”

This is the time when Alexandra makes without interruption.

In 2016, Alexandra and husband Shayne scaled back on production, focusing on small batch bespoke dinnerware collections. Her ultimate accomplishment has been sticking to her roots as a hand-crafted brand where customers can come and see the process from start to finish. Her favorite quote “still water runs deep” gives a glimpse into the soul of Alexandra and her playfully evocative artwork.

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