Our pottery story began 3 generations ago with potter and craftswoman Kathleen and her son Frits, a renowned master potter whose work was commissioned by the artist Arthur Boyd and selected for the Victorian State Craft Collection. Now Frits’s daughter Kate, with other family members, continues the tradition from our small studio in rural NSW.
in the pottery studio
Most of our pots are created (‘thrown’) by hand on a pottery wheel. They’re made from stoneware or porcelain clay and special high-fire glazes, which are then fired in the pottery kiln, at a much higher temperature than earthenware clays. This makes the ware particularly strong and durable, and enables some subtle, sophisticated glaze effects.
Firing the pots is a complex, two-stage process. After the pots have fully dried, they are carefully placed in one of our gas or electric kilns for their their first firing (a low-temperature ‘biscuit’ or ‘bisque’ firing, after which they are hard and water resistant, but still brittle and porous). Then they’re dipped in glaze and placed in the kiln again for the final glaze (‘glost’) firing, which lasts many hours and reaches temperatures of up to 1300°C.
We always look forward to opening the kiln the day after a glaze firing. It’s an exciting, almost magical process of transformation!
Sure, there’s the occasional disappointment – a crack, a blemish, a glaze that didn’t perform as expected. But that’s all part of the creative process. Plans for the next firing are adjusted and new ideas and opportunities discussed!
Ideas for our pottery seem to grow naturally out of the experiences of everyday family life, and the beautiful but challenging landscape of the Riverina Murray region.
When someone brings in a bunch of flowers from the garden, or the first plums of the season, ideas for a new vase or bowl start to emerge. And family business meetings (a.k.a a long morning tea!) are fuelled by hot coffee from a favourite mug. Our own pots are always on the table, being tested and critiqued and enjoyed!