Friends of MAYDE: Jo Norton

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.

 

Jo Norton of Norton & Norton Ceramics in her studio

 

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.

 

Jo Norton Potter in her studio in Currumbin

 

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.

 

Jo Norton of Norton & Norton Ceramics in her studio

 

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. 

 

MAYDE Soap Dishes in collaboration with Jo Norton

 

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!

 

Recycled clay in the studio of Jo Norton of Norton & Norton

 

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.

 

Norton & Norton Pottery Studio in Currumbin

Mayde x Norton and Norton Soap Dishes

Mayde x Norton and Norton Soap Dishes

You can shop our recycled clay soap dishes, created in collaboration with Jo here.

To see more of Jo's incredible work or to find out about her pottery workshops, head over to her website or visit her on socials.

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