The origin story of Atelier Studios treads a slightly unusual path. While travelling in Italy, Melissa Jackson and Sven Geboers discovered local ceramicists working in family run workshops, and without any previous intention to become homewares importers… they founded a business. ‘We fell in love with the pieces and knew we had to bring them to Australia!’ Melissa recalls.
The pieces in question are sourced from ‘the very heart of the Mediterranean’, in the regions of Puglia and Sicily. After discovering a number of local ceramics workshops, Melissa and Sven began working closely with the local makers, supporting their traditional practice, but also re-imagining some of their work with contemporary flair, through bold use of colour.
A richness of craftsmanship and heritage is evident in all Atelier Studios ranges. Melissa describes how the Fasano Family from Puglia, and Giacomo Alessi from Sicily ‘carefully make each piece using traditional processes, techniques and equipment, all of which have been passed down through the generations. The Fasano family, in particular, have an incredible history, with technical knowledge and experience handed down through eighteen generations (just let that sit for a moment- eighteen!). Melissa tell us, ‘the earliest objects produced by them have been preserved in museums and private collections.’
Atelier Studios’ debut collections are inspired by the ‘Italian relationship with family, food and the sea’. For the Melissa and Sven, a strong connection to Italy presents both joys and challenges. However, the challenges of freighting heavy fragile product across the seas (!) are well and truly off-set by the opportunity for annual work trips to Southern Italy, and the relationships Melissa and Sven have developed with local families and artisans along the way.