Family heritage at heart: Spinning artisanal creations with Robert Gordon
From colourful candles and vases to earthy dinner sets and bakeware, the Robert Gordon team have perfected the art of producing quality ceramics that are used by some of the world’s most reputable retailers and restaurants.
A long-time partner of Miele, Robert Gordon products regularly feature across many of our campaigns, including our most recent Christmas recipe collection, which features our favourite festive food creations atop beautifully crafted plates, bowls, serving dishes and more.
This month, we explore the rich family history behind Robert Gordon, which aligns closely with our family owned and operated values.
From little things, big things grow
The Robert Gordon story began in 1945, when renowned Australian potter June Dyson set up her studio alongside her husband Colin who became the company’s business director. June’s son Robert ‘Andy’ Gordon, expressed interest in pottery and followed in his mother’s footsteps, taking the wheel and creating his own pottery designs.
In 1979, Robert formed the Pack Track Pottery, a home studio located in a small eight-foot tin shed with dirt floor. Fast forward eight years to 1987 and the Robert Gordon studio moved to a large purpose-built headquarters in Pakenham – the same location it is in today.
Family has remained at the heart of Robert Gordon, with Andy’s four children, Hannah, Kate, Bobby and Sam, all following suit to play their own roles in the business today, ensuring it continues to thrive and grow with new ideas and innovations that don’t forget their sixty-year heritage.
“My day to day role is sales and Marketing for the brand, alongside my sister Hannah, with a focus on maintaining Robert Gordon’s steady growth and high-quality reputation that we are known for. My sister Kate is in design, Bobby is in operations and production after previously having his own architecture practice for 5 years. We’re third generation potters and each are extremely passionate about continuing the family business, bringing new and exciting ideas to the table,” said Sam Gordon.
One of the last remaining potteries in Australia, they are now responsible for over 150,000 individual products per year, have 30+ employees and stock over 3,000 independent retailers in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand and the USA. Alongside their wholesale and retail market, they also work to create custom designs for chefs, architects, designers and more, developing bespoke products for restaurants such as Vue de monde and designers such as Shelley Panton.
Turning clay into art
Much like its’ family history, Robert Gordon’s design process is a blend of old and new, using traditional and modern tools to bring each individual piece of pottery to life.
“With every piece we create, we ensure that it has a timeless design and a focus on quality. Just like Miele, we want to ensure our customers are purchasing products that will last them a lifetime, with every piece passing through the hands of skilled crafts people. Our design process is often a collaboration between our family, staff and clients, which is one of the reasons we believe we have been able to continue manufacturing high fired stoneware for over 75 years,” added Sam.
“New shapes are designed on the thrower’s wheel or slab roller, before moving into slip casting and other presses and machines. Our glazes are also designed and developed on site before being applied by hand, which provides us the opportunity to experiment and ensures every piece that lands on a customer’s table is unique.”
Products are finalised via a bisque fire at 1000°C and a gloss fire at 1280°C to ensure they do not absorb any moisture when used. The result? Incredible designs, varying textures, unique features and homewares that are sure to compliment every meal created.
Creating a Christmas feast – complete with the perfect crockery
A Christmas spread is made even more impressive when presented on beautifully crafted plates, bowls and serving trays. We’ve chosen our favourite Robert Gordon ranges to help you ensure your salads, roasts, share plates and desserts truly shine this Christmas.
A collection that was designed and created by Andy Gordon himself, each shape within this range was first modelled by him in the Robert Gordon factory. Featured on each flatware piece is an orientation mark, stamped to ensure that the chef’s creations are carried from the kitchen in the correct position. Use this mark as a compass on the plate, placing your delicious meals atop it to create that picture, perfect foodie moment.
Choose from the 21cm bowl for a main dish of steaming muscles, a 28cm bowl for a side of broccolini with parmesan, almonds and pomegranate or a small 8cm condiment holder for all of those much-needed toppings on desserts.
Designed to create a show stopping display, this Robert Gordon range is ideal for serving up a feast. With small to large platters, cheese paddles, a salad bowl, water jug, condiment dishes and cutlery to serve, it easily compliments any table setting. Available in two classic colours of ocean and stone, the platters are available in a long size of 50.5cm x 18cm and an oval size of 46cm x 27cm, ideal for a wide variety of roast mains on Christmas day.
To create your own delicious Christmas spread to display on these beautifully crafted plates, platters and bowls, be sure to visit our recipe section.
More learn more about Robert Gordon’s range of homewares, its history and to visit its Pakenham warehouse and factory outlet, visit the website here.