The Yachting Studio (TYS) produces ceramics as keeper prizes for sailing events - actually they could be (and have been) produced for any purpose, but our focus has been on sailing.
The concept has it's origins when running the Optimist Fleet at our sailing club. We were always looking for original items to present as prizes and the sailors really didn't need any more burgees or sailing gloves. Also, standard first, second and third prizes used by the club did not identify the event - so sailors ended up with several prizes all the same (if they were successful). So, the idea was born, but waited until more time was available to be implemented.
The boats lend themselves to neat semi-technical illustrations. The inspiration came from such illustrations and we have now created about 100 illustrations of dinghy and keelboat classes to use in our layouts, being added to all the time - see here to view the range of illustrations. Otherwise, we would typically use event or class logos, club burgee or maybe a chartlet of the sailing area or drawing of some iconic feature, particularly for handicap events. The layout should probably include the event details, finishing position and may include sponsor's logo(s).
What is called "whiteware" is widely available in a huge range of products in a wide range of quality and the plain white offsets the decoration. Sailing events rarely have big budgets for prizes and very economical whiteware is available. Our process creates transfers using magnetised particles of glaze in a digital process. The digital process means that each prize can be created as a one-off whereas traditional screen printing is only viable for larger production runs. Once fired, the decoration is permanent, food- and dishwasher-safe whereas other processes that print onto whiteware require the item to be polyester coated which limits the range of product available and has a limited life. Items such as mugs or dishes are also very useful.