Alex and Marion Ceramics is a creative partnership and pottery studio based in Hobart, Tasmania. All Alex and Marion products are designed and made collaboratively in Hobart by Marion Abraham and Alex Gouldthorpe. Alex and Marion work to combine the tactile appeal of East Asian folk pottery with studio-scale production techniques and designs that draw influence from past masters of the studio crafts (mainly 17th and early 18th century Japanese and European) and by the weedy flora of this temperate suburban environment. They are particularly proud of their glazes, which are the product of a unique education followed by years of gruelling science, trial and error.
Do you have a day job, if so what is it?
We only do other work when desperate, and these jobs are irrelevant to our artistic practice.
When did your business begin and why?
Alex and Marion established their studio because they felt that there was an opportunity to revive the craft arts in Hobart and to attempt to live a particular socially idealistic life within their city. This involves making functional, affordable art and selling it face to face with the public. With trends in contemporary ceramics focused on unglazed porcelain and wood-fired pottery, we saw a great opportunity to keep the art of colourful, high-temperature glaze-work alive in Australia.
We love art deco glass and metalwork, art nouveau period Japanese design, commercial art of the early 20th century and primitive design from all round the world. Art deco ceramics just missed out on the Western artist-potter revolution of the 30’s and 40’s so we work to create pieces that combine elements from Deco glass and metal work with eastern studio pottery techniques.
Designers you admire?
Roger Webb, René Lalique, Furuya Korin, and the unknown potters of the T’ang through Song Dynasties.
What is your favourite part of Tasmania?
Cross St, New Town, looking out across the Brickworks kiln chimney toward Mt Wellington.
What do you love about what you do...and any little gripes or niggles?
We like working hard, and the strange futility of making things that get sold a week later and never seen by us again. We like feeling as though we are part of a great tradition and of another era and we like being productive. Working really hard is our answer to contributing to society. We are not today’s designers or designer-makers. We are artists for the people.
What can our lovely customers expect to see you exhibiting?
Lots of colorful porcelain and stoneware home-wares; vases, cups, teapots, bowls, jars and boxes. Also on display will be some ceramic jewelry and small sculptural pieces and hopefully some non-ceramic items in the future.
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Want to see who else will be at our April event? For more interviews with our exhibitors check out our look book.