Laura Roberts started making her famous microwave cozies for us several years ago, when she lived here. They are so popular that we persuaded her to continue making them for us from her current Palmyra, New York, home. They come in various sizes and colors and are heavily lined; they take the place of potholders, so you don’t have to get burned taking hot dishes out of your micro.

Denise Der Garabedian, a local potter, crafts beautiful sponge holders. “I create unique, beautiful and mostly functional pottery for home use,” Denise says. “Each piece is hand thrown on the wheel or hand built by me. I use stoneware, which is a durable clay that holds up for everyday use.” Denise’s pottery is lead-free and dishwasher safe.