We recently collaborated with local potter, Jo Norton of Norton & Norton, to create a range of recycled clay soap dishes, exclusive to MAYDE. Jo operates and works out of her open studio in Currumbin, where she offers workshops and pottery classes for potters of all skill levels. We caught up with Jo for an afternoon in her studio to chat about her work as a potter, finding inspiration in nature, and where she finds the most joy in her practice.
How did the passion for making your own ceramics start, and how long have you been doing it now?
I've been working with clay for over a decade. In 2010, the tactile nature of clay and the creative process of defining a concept, making and finishing a piece drew me in.
Is there one thing you love making, no matter how many times you make it?
My work encompasses both hand building and wheel work. I love multiples and repetition, so installation work is a passion and if you look at my work you will see repetition in the forms and the texture I apply which is taken from the smallest marks and forms found in nature.
What are some things that inspire your work?
I am inspired by the simple beauty of landscape; natural and handmade, the monumental and the minuscule.
Tell us more about the materials and methods you've used to make the beautiful MAYDE soap dishes?
When MAYDE asked me to design and make the soap dishes, recycled clay was my first choice. I love that each piece is simple yet individual - functional beauty that is made from a recycled product locally.
The use of recycled clay in the studio is very important. With beginner potters in the studio, there is a fair amount of clay that is used in practice. We take this clay and process it so it forms a new clay body to be reused in special pieces.
The recycling process is simple. We are basically taking the clay back to a dry form before crushing and rehydrating, then we draw on slabs before we re-wedge into a usable clay body. It takes time and is quite physical, but it's very satisfying!
What would be your dream ceramics project?
For me, the joy comes from the fact that my work will be held and used and will exist in the main places of people's everyday lives.
You can shop our recycled clay soap dishes, created in collaboration with Jo here.