Hugh Prysten isn't really local to me. I live in Paducah, Kentucky and he lives in New York City (or thereabouts). In the context of The Internet, we we might as well live right next door. I "met" Hugh on Google+ and when I saw that he did custom, Asian-inspired ceramics, I became an instant fan.
When he opened his Etsy shop, I had to buy something. I started out with a ceramic cup (pictured above). It came well packaged with a nice note. I could not be happier.
I'll be honest. You will pay more for something like this than you would at your local housewares store. But I feel that I got more than just a container for liquids.
I am not going to try to sell you anything. If paying a little more for something handcrafted does not appeal to you, I won't be able to convince you otherwise. If it does, then I encourage you to check out Hugh's work.
Maybe ceramics isn't your thing. That's cool. Might I interest you in some original photography? ;)