Kip&Co and Robert Gordon are both celebrated, family-run businesses embedded within Melbourne’s local creative community. Kip&Co’s co-founders include sisters Kate Heppell and Hayley Pannekoecke and their friend Alex McCabe, while the Gordon family are behind Australia’s largest production potteries, but the bond between the two brands goes way back.
As fate would have it, Kate and Hayley actually went to school with another set of creative sisters, Hannah and Kate Gordon (who are now Robert Gordon’s general manager and creative director, respectively) back in the 90s!
Partial to all-things colour and familiar with the power of a good collaboration, Kate Heppell says Kip&Co had been thinking of a collaboration that would help them add ceramics to their collection of happy homewares, bedding and apparel for a while.
‘When it came to choosing a partner to help us realise this dream, that was a no brainer. We’ve been friends with the Gordons for decades but beyond that, Robert Gordon is a truly iconic Aussie brand,’ Kate explains.
‘The process involved us starting with shapes from the Robert Gordon archives, then Kate set about trialling slip casting colours that we selected and knew would form an impressive base to each vase. Robert Gordon are wizards at this technique.’
Behind the beautiful range is three years of discussions and almost 18 months of collaborating. The two teams went back and forth perfecting glaze colours and shapes for a set of five bespoke, hand-crafted vases. The pouring process alone takes a full day, being made in Robert Gordon’s Pakenham workshop. ‘Going through this process with the team has really just increased our respect for the skill and artistry of Robert Gordon,’ Kate adds.
Each one is hand-painted with swatches of vivid colour inspired by native Australian flora, reminiscent of the same ‘bushy schoolyard’ in Berwick where the women behind the two brands first met! And the exclusive collection is limited to just 10 per vase, making each piece a truly special keepsake worthy of a prime place on your mantelpiece.
Shop the Kip&Co x Robert Gordon range online here.