Taylor & Ng drug house kitty mug from 1981.
In 1965 Win Ng met artist Spaulding Taylor and shifted his focus toward utilitarian work. The two founded Environmental Ceramics (the precursor to Taylor & Ng) and moved into creating handmade artware and homewares. The company called Taylor & Ng was founded during the same period and, with the addition of Win Ng’s brother, Norman Ng, as president, grew into a major producer and retailer of housewares.
Win Ng’s whimsical designs and animal drawings became a thematic focal point for many extremely popular Taylor & Ng products, from coffee mugs to kitchen aprons, pot holders, and dishtowels. These products sold heavily through Macy’s and other major department stores and housewares retailers throughout the U.S. during the late 1970s and 1980s. He created pottery, book designs and linens for over 20 years.
Through their own San Francisco department store and wholesale business, Taylor & Ng not only created a signature style still in demand by collectors, but helped to popularize Asian culture and cuisine. The Taylor & Ng company is credited with bringing the Chinese wok to the U.S. and making it a common kitchen utensil. In the late 1970s, they expanded their line to include a wide range of kitchen products, including a clever wood-and-metal-hook pot rack called the “Track Rack” that is still sold today. In 1977, Taylor & Ng introduced one of the first knock-down furniture products, the award-winning “Chair-In-A-Box,” designed by Don Vandervort (who later went on to found HomeTips.com). The Taylor & Ng department store closed in 1985 so that the business could focus on its wholesale activities.