Sweet Gigs

Meet The Maker - Kate Gordon

In today’s blog, we take you inside the Melbourne studio of renowned ceramicists Robert Gordon. Known for their handmade ceramics, the family-run business has been designing and making pottery for over three generations and 75 years. In celebration of our limited edition collaboration, we take you behind the scenes with Creative Director, Kate Gordon, and get to know more about the creative process behind the Kip&Co x Robert Gordon limited edition vases.


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1. Thank you so much for talking to us about the creative process behind the limited edition Australian-made vases. Let’s start with a little bit about you - what’s your role in the family business?

I am the company's Creative Director. It's a role that I have 'grown' into, with me wearing many hats over the years. In the early days, my first job was working on the glazing tables (at 15 years old), and paying my way through Uni. In the year 2000, I became the company's head designer after finishing a degree in textile design at RMIT. Since then, my role has evolved, and I now oversee the general look and feel of our collections, working with an amazing team to do so.




2. How did you create the moulds for these beautiful pieces and is there any history to these?

The moulds for the Kip&Co collaboration have a varied history. Some are more recent than others. The most interesting history belongs to the Umbrella Stand vase that would have been created in the 1980s. We still hold a library of moulds, and some of the pieces that come from there are relevant today. It's fun to delve into that history.





3. How do you choose the clay for the vases?

The clay for the vases is mined in NSW, and comes from local pottery supply team Clay Works. It is Australian clay. We have always used Australian clay in our Australian Workshop.




4. How do you achieve the amazing colours and patterns?

The amazing colours and patterns are achieved using two techniques. The amazing colours and patterns are achieved using two techniques.

Firstly the actual clay is coloured using glaze, it is then poured into the moulds by two people. It is swirled to create the marbling technique. The vase mould takes one whole day to process. Excess slip from this technique is poured into buckets and recycled.

The second technique is done through the glazing process, after each vase is bisque fired. We used a hand painted wax resist technique to create interesting patterns and then each vase was dipped in a bin of glaze. No two pieces are identical, and each vase was dated and numbered at this stage of the process.





5. How long do you fire the vases?

We both bisque fire and gloss fire overnight.





6. What was the collaborative process like to create these?

It was an amazingly collaborative process. To sum it up, Kip&Co brought the colour and the unique designs and we brought our knowledge of ceramics.





7. Which is your favourite piece in the collection?

My favourite piece is definitely the Black Kangaroo Paw vase. I love the contrast of the inky black swirl and the soft peach glaze. Just stunning.


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