Let The Beauty Of These Ceramic Basins Really Sink In

A basin might not be the top of your dream home wish-list, but do not underestimate the visual impact and tactile experience of a great sink!

The power of the sink is recognised by global architecture firm Snøhetta, who forged sculptural sinks for Aesop’s Oslo outpost; Victor Vasilev has designed a near-invisible floating sink; and Alvar Aalto’s humanist design for the Paimio Sanatorium in Finland that features specially designed ‘no splash’ sinks so the user will not distract sleeping patients with unnecessary noise.

The new range of basins from celebrated Australian pottery company Robert Gordon offers a local designer take on the humble handbasin!

Lucy Feagins

Robert Gordon sink in situ. Photo – Jarrod Barnes. Concept & Styling – Bree Leech.

Architect and second-generation potter Bobby Gordon (one of Robert Gordon’s sons) in the company’s Pakenham factory with head mould maker Glauco Urbanucci. Robert Gordon is a family business that has created ceramics for 75 years! Photo – Jarrod Barnes. Concept & Styling – Bree Leech.

Every basin is hand glazed, and carrier marks from the hand of the maker. Photo – Jarrod Barnes. Concept & Styling – Bree Leech.

A sleek ceramic basic Photo – Jarrod Barnes. Concept & Styling – Bree Leech.

The size of the basins required cranes as part of the production process. Photo – Jarrod Barnes. Concept & Styling – Bree Leech.

It all begins in the studio. Photo – Jarrod Barnes. Concept & Styling – Bree Leech.

The basins are created from recycled slip. Photo – Jarrod Barnes. Concept & Styling – Bree Leech.

Pottery is messy work! Photo – Jarrod Barnes. Concept & Styling – Bree Leech.

Lucy Feagins
30th of May 2019

Robert Gordon are Australia’s largest production pottery company, and have been creating much loved ceramics for over 75 years. Perhaps best known for their hand-huggable mugs and other tableware, the family run business has now branched into bathroom basins.

Kate Gordon, creative director, explains that her brother Bobby, an architect and potter, was the brains behind the project. She describes, ‘he saw a gap in the market for bespoke, hand made architecture fixtures, at a reasonable price.’

The collection is made in Robert Gordon’s Pakenham factory, and each piece is glazed by hand. This craftsmanship is evident in the final outcome, where no two pieces are the same. Kate highlights ‘we adhere to a philosophy based on commitment to craft, and respect for the time-honoured skills and techniques of our ceramic specialists.’

The process from concept to resolved piece took the family ‘nearly two years of trialing, developing, making and modelling to get off the ground.’ While the process is similar to that used to create the beloved tableware, the scale required some inventive and resourceful approaches. Kate explains ‘we had to implement cranes to pick up the moulds because the are huge!’

Now that they have moved beyond the table and into the kitchen and bathroom, Robert Gordon have got their eyes on the rest of the house! Stay tuned for future developments as Kate and her family experiment with light fittings, wall hooks, wall mounted basins and tiles. She explains, ‘with our use of glazes and colours, we are very excited about the potential!’

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