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The New Ceramics Studio Built On Centuries Of Inherited Knowledge

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Melbourne-based ceramicist Claudia Lau has spent years developing her practice. It was around four years ago that we featured the young ceramicist’s work for the first time, when she was still a student, and working as a studio assistant for Leah Jackson. Even in those early days  Claudia was creating incredibly refined yet distinctive handmade ceramic pieces, which at the time were stocked by the likes of Shifting Worlds and Modern Times in Melbourne.

Recently, Claudia has turned her focus from exploration of clay to glazes, undertaking a material chemistry course to further understand the process, and continuing her studies at Melbourne’s renowned SoCA (School of Clay and Art). The result of this research and experimentation is a new direction for her practice: House Editions.

From her home base in Melbourne, Claudia liaises with a small team in the Jingdezhen province of China to realise fine porcelain homewares and crockery in a plethora of coloured, textured finishes.

20th September, 2021

House Editions launched at Oigall Projects on Gertrude Street – a pop-up shop to celebrate the new collection ‘First Edition’. Photo – Annika Kafcaloudis.

The porcelain Moon Jars big and small lined up. Photo – Annika Kafcaloudis.

Such an epic installation! Photo – Annika Kafcaloudis.

The beautiful display of First Edition collection at the House Editions pop-up store. Photo – Annika Kafcaloudis.

The Moon Jar. Photo – Annika Kafcaloudis.

Ceramic plates and bowls in different glazes were mounted at the pop-up store. Photo – Annika Kafcaloudis.

A view of the bulb-like vases. Photo – Annika Kafcaloudis.

The signature Petal Plate in jade crystal glaze. Photo – Annika Kafcaloudis.

Claudia herself at work on the wheel. Photo – Annika Kafcaloudis.

A range of plates, bowls and procelain pieces produced by Claudia. Photo – Annika Kafcaloudis.

Sasha Gattermayr
Monday 20th September 2021

The Jingdezhen province of China is believed to have produced porcelain pottery from as early as the sixth century. It’s been the centre of china production for the nation ever since, producing ‘imperial porcelain’ throughout the Ming dynasty and cultivating great cultural importance around the ancient craft.

Ceramicist Claudia Lau spent a few months there in 2019, researching production methods and learning about the history of the material. She returned to Australia with an independent studio space, a team of makers in Jingdezhen and a way to realise the new ceramics studio concept she had been dreaming up.

‘House Editions has been a long time in the making,’ explains Claudia, dating the initial discussions of the concept to 2018. ‘I started prototyping pieces in my studio, refining my skills and directing my practice to focus more on glaze chemistry.’

House Editions is a ceramics studio, designed in Melbourne and then produced by the team in Jingdezhen.

‘Rather than an independent practice, collaboration is layered in every stage of making, and the process leans on a materiality that is built on centuries of culture and the exchange of inherited knowledge,’ she says.

Claudia launched the new practice a few weeks ago with a pop-up store on Gertrude Street to launch the brand’s debut collection: First Edition. The range of raised rim bowls, scalloped plates and bulb-like vases are all made from porcelain and coated in a specialist glaze from jade crystal and shimmering onyx to icy pink crystal and cosmic beige. (See more of the amazing glaze textures here.)

Though the House Editions pop-up at the Oigall Projects site on Gertrude Street is now closed, House Editions lives permanently online where all the pieces in First Edition are available to shop.

Shop ‘First Edition’ here!

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First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net