Inspired by the intricacies and inconsistencies of nature, Marloe Marloe creates one-of-a-kind ceramics, refined by simplicity and femininity. We visited Marloe at her Tweed Heads studio to learn more about her creative process.
Hi Marloe! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am a designer and maker based in the beautiful coastal pocket of Rainbow Bay between the Gold Coast and Byron Bay. I run the design and ceramic studio Marloe Marloe, we specialise in handcrafted boutique batch production for both the homewares and hospitality industry.
What lead you to start working with ceramics?
I began making about 5 years ago as a creative side project while working in the fashion industry. I was looking for a creative outlet and came across a pottery course at my local community association. I have always loved working with my hands and fell in love with the tactile nature of clay. I have been addicted ever since.
How would you define the style of your work and how did it develop?
I would describe my design style as quite clean & contemporary while being function lead. I love to create work that serves functional purpose weather its tableware, a vase or styling object. I love to work with clean lines and add texture and colour to create dimension. My design process changes a little from project to project depending on the desired outcome.
If I am creating for a client the process tends to be quite client lead and follows a strict flow of phases we created in-house to ensure we stay on time, budget and brief. Our Marloe Marloe homewares design process, on the other hand, is a lot more fluid and free-flowing. Working between the two works really well for me, I need a little structure while still having the freedom to create out of a pure desire to make.
Your pieces are made using a variety of production techniques including slip casting, wheel manipulation and glazing by hand. Can you talk us through the process from start to finish?
As we work across so many varying projects we like to experiment with different production techniques, this allows us to explore potential outcomes and assess how those results align with the desired outcome or brief. For example, if we are creating on a body of work for a restaurant it is very important the shapes are consistent and are able to stack well inside one another as well as being strong and able to stand up in a commercial environment. So we tend to cast in moulds to ensure consistency, strength and integrity.
Some clients and projects allow for a little more freedom when making and for these projects we tend to hand build or wheel throw. All of our work is glazed by hand using glazes we make in house from raw ingredients and pigments or colourants. We then fire our work to 1280 degrees (or between cone 8-9 for the ceramic geeks) in an electric kiln. We then quality check each piece as it comes out of the kiln before sanding the base of each piece to finish.
The colours and texture of your pieces are one of a kind—how do you think about experimentation?
The way a piece is finished can really elevate and give your work an interesting point of difference. It is also an opportunity to add character and dimension to the design as well as tie it back to its intended purpose.
When creating our range of vases I really wanted to develop a range that could be used as functional vases and also as statement object for the home. It was here that I chose to use a textured lava glaze to elevate the shapes and create something super special and interesting to look. The response has been amazing and our customers really love the uneven finish.
Earlier this year, you joined forces with Share The Dignity to release a capsule collection for International Women's Day, donating thirty per cent of sales profits to the cause. Can you talk to us about this collection and why it was important to you?
I feel so privileged to live in Australia in a safe environment free from control and restriction. I get to wake up every day and go to my studio and create work I love. It's a real privilege and I feel it's important to give back when you can. Marloe Marloe plans to work with one charity a year highlighting the challenges fellow Australians are facing.
This year we worked with Share the Dignity as I am very passionate about the welfare of Women and their children. We launched the GRACE collection on Internation women's day and continued sales for 2 months. The women at Share the Dignity are doing amazing work providing support to those experiencing domestic violence and homelessness and we loved getting behind the charity.
We created a soft pink lava glaze exclusively for this collaboration and sold the collection through our online store to maximise profits so that we were able to donate such a high percentage of each sale to STD.
We are super passionate about homelessness and mental health and these are two areas we will be focusing on in 2020.
You've partnered with some amazing restaurants and cafés like Paper Daisy at Halcyon House and Casuarina favourite Tucker. Can you share a few of your local favourites?
Yes, we are been very lucky to partner with some amazing talent and the food scene is really booming in our local area. When I am home I love to dine at a local wine bar in Coolangatta, Tasca. If you love amazing food and natural wines, this is the stop. For breakfast or lunch, Tucker is definitely the favourite. For coffee and food on the go, you can't go past Bread Socal on Bay St in Tweed Heads. For something, a little more fancy, Resturant Labart and Hellenika are my top choices.
You work and live in such a beautiful area, can you share with us what a day off looks like for you?
I love to start the day with my husband and our sharpie Lully, we head to the beach or for a walk to Bread Social for a stretch and coffee. I am in the studio by 8:30 most days and start the working day checking emails and actioning anything urgent. I then step into production and check I am across the projects we are currently making for to ensure we are on track. The afternoons are normally spent in client meetings, working on the business and planning for the following day. I like to wrap my day while to the sun is still up and take Lully to the park for a run and wind down.
What’s next for Marloe Marloe?
We are set to launch a new collection of vases and tableware this October which we are so excited about! We are working across an amazing collaboration that will be released in November and we are also working on a small collection of objects and speciality pieces for Christmas. We have lots happening and cant wait to be able to share a little more information.
To see more of Marloe's work: