Friends of Miele: Robert Gordon – Part One
We recently had the pleasure of catching up with our good friends at Robert Gordon in their pottery, to hear about where they draw their design inspiration from and to get insider knowledge on what’s trending in kitchenware in 2017.
Robert Gordon Australia is a family owned pottery, which produces beautifully handcrafted collections for the home, as well as custom-made tableware for some of the world’s leading restaurants. In Australia, the Robert Gordon tableware can be found at the likes of Vue de monde, Longrain and Grossi Florentino. Robert Gordon Australia also customises a range for Miele Experience Centres across the country.
Like Miele, at the heart of the Robert Gordon Australia brand is passion and a strong history of experience, which in turn produces not only unique and stunning pieces, but also reliable and durable items. So what are the secrets behind their success as a tableware brand and what inspires their designs?
At the heart it’s a strong family bond and a history of designs developed by the family patriarch, Robert Gordon himself. In fact, the family history in pottery stretches back to Robert’s mother, June Dyson, who was also a well-known Australian potter.
Kate Gordon, Robert’s daughter, is the head designer and she explains how much the past informs their current designs.
“We are always drawing inspiration from our past – at the moment we are exploring Dad’s pottery from the 80’s,” she said.
“We’ve been making since 1945 so we have a huge variety of shapes, glazes and colour palettes that are historical. We love to dig out stuff from our archives and see how we can apply the style to modern trends.”
Chefs are another pool of inspiration, with input coming from the likes of Shannon Bennett explains Sam Gordon, Robert’s son and Head of Sales and Marketing.
“A lot of thought goes into a restaurant’s menu design, the dishes produced and the overall look and feel, so we really value their thoughts on the design as well,” Sam said.
Apart from the sources of inspiration, at the core of every design created by the Gordon family, are five aspects:
Usability, beautiful clean lines, designs that complement and don’t distract from the food being served, timelessness and durability.
With these five design rules informing every collection, the Gordon family then continuously works on fresh and modern shapes and colours, with the approach to designing homewares similar to that of fashion.
“Having artwork flat and putting that on a round object is actually quite difficult. We treat design like the fashion industry and every day we do design development to ensure we’re evolving with the trends,” Sam explains.
A consistent aspect of design that has stood the test of time is the ‘handmade’ element, which is very prevalent in the Robert Gordon Australia design.
“Each piece must be reflective of the craft, showing signs of having passed through the hands of the makers,” Kate highlights.
The popularity of pottery and handcrafted creations in kitchen crockery just keeps growing, with more and more pieces of ceramic artistry featuring at dinner parties of late.
The raw nature of ceramics and untamed glaze finishes come together to perfectly complement beautiful dishes and they’re also able to stand out in their own right. It’s for these reasons that households across Australia are filled with pottery like that of Robert Gordon Australia.