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Handmade Ceramic Carafes (Slate)
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The mosaic of culture in Sydney, Australia is made up of diverse languages, art and music from all parts of the world. It is a city filled with thriving energy, sophistication and style. It's where unique objects like these porcelain pitchers would likely come from - pieces interesting enough to stand on their own, but also versatile enough to blend in with and complement any style or atmosphere. Put on the table alongside your great grandmother's dishes, or a modern dinner set from Japan, and it won't seem out of place.
The set is made of French porcelain, a deceptively precious, somewhat delicate-looking material that's actually much more durable than glass. The porcelain starts as a dry powder that's mixed with pigment, then poured into a mould, trimmed, and fired twice for hardness. The exterior is left with a rough, matte finish that has a nice texture and grip when you hold it, and the inside has a clear glaze with a glossy finish, for whatever you decide to pour in.
About 5 people in a tiny, 12 person studio near the Sydney Harbour in Australia are responsible for carrying out the different steps of creating each piece that will become a mainstay on your table. The jug is often used as a pitcher for milk or cream in coffee or tea service, and the carafes for water, juice, or wine at a dinner party table. But either can be used for just about anything.
These pieces fit right in alongside any other ornate dish or serveware because of their simple, somewhat modern design that blends with and complements their surroundings.
Use the jug for serving milk or cream with coffee or tea when you have a guest, or for placing at the table whenever espresso is called for. The manufacturer suggested that most people purchase the carafes for serving water or wine at a dinner party, or just for a meal at home. But it's a versatile container, and can hold any liquid as well as make a lovely vase for a handful of wildflowers collected on a whim.
The porcelain clay is much more durable than glass, so really takes a bang to smash or crack. The piece is dishwasher safe, too.
The makers at the studio in Sydney caution only against moving the pieces from one extreme temperature to another. For instance, putting them in the refrigerator for a while, then transferring to the oven isn't the best treatment or care. It's recommended to let the pieces cool to room temperature before transferring to a more extreme environment.
The studio was founded in 1994 by a ceramicist who wanted to try out elegant, simple designs using French porcelain, a material she'd become familiar with as a student of fine arts. French porcelain was a material she knew would result in pieces she could actually use, not just set on a shelf.
Her studio now houses 12-15 ceramicists who are in charge of each step of the process of making each piece.
The most advanced form of machine technology used in the studio are the scalpel-like tools for trimming and shaping moulded pottery.
The basic run down of steps in the creation process are as follows: Mixing the slip (which is turning the clay into liquid form), then the pouring into the mould. Then the trimming to make sure everything has a handfelt but smooth edged consistency to it. Then the kiln firing, which dries the moulds and makes sure everything is hard enough. The last step is the glaze, a proprietary clear gloss that gives the inside of each piece a smooth and shiny feel, safe for any contents.
Small jug (3.75" x 3.5") (9.5 cm x 8.89 cm)
Small carafe (6.5" x 3.5") (16.51 cm x 8.89 cm)
Large carafe (9.5" x 4.5") (24.13 cm x 11.43 cm)
French porcelain, kiln-dried
Glazed interior Rough Matte exterior