in the studio with ghost wares
Ghost Wares is a Melbourne based ceramics studio with an emphasis on creating objects that are elegant but playful. Their products are made by hand, allowing for an ever evolving range of complementary pieces. They endeavour to create contemporary products that have an element of timeless restraint.
Recently we asked Matthew to share a few insights into his practice.
How do you describe yourself?
I like to make things, pottery is a great outlet for that!
Why/how did you start making pots?
I began pottery classes as a weekend hobby, not knowing much about ceramics. I became very interested in clay. At the time I was working in architecture and interior design, I bought a wheel and began throwing in my backyard. I found ceramics enabled me to see a finished product relatively quickly. I enjoyed being able to experiment more freely. Eventually that led to developing a certain aesthetic and a process for achieving it consistently, which slowly led to starting a small business.
Describe your process
A main part of my approach to ceramics has been to focus on the clay itself. We use a pugmill to mix our clay, and we’ve made recipes of aggregate and stain, which react when fired and give the ceramics their texture and colour. By bringing these design elements through the clay I am able to avoid a piece feeling decorated, each piece is less an expression of me but rather the raw material it is made of. From there I throw the form on the wheel, trim it as it dries, after which it goes into the kiln to remove moisture and begin to harden, I can then glaze the inside of the piece and return it to the kiln for it’s final firing.
What is your favourite pot and why?
Mugs are great. They tend to be something that we use a lot and we tend to choose one and form a connection with it. And because each of our pieces are made individually without moulds, they can have certain qualities that make them feel unique. It’s interesting to see which ones people choose.
What is something surprising about making pots? (good or bad)
That you can make a living out of it, I’m still a bit surprised that I am doing this full time.
Photos courtesy of Xanthea Riordan, Ghost Wares & Dominic Xavier.