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Interview: Gem Mordle at Home Thrown Studio


 

Gem Mordle Home Thrown Studio
Gem Mordle is a UK-based ceramicist living on the Dorset coast. Influenced by Scandinavian and Japanese design, she embraces texture, simplicity and organic shapes within her work.

We’re big fans of drinking coffee from her handcrafted ceramic cups, so we wanted to find out a bit more about her and her pottery process…


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I started playing with clay as a kid


“Dad used to come home with a bag of clay for us to play with during the summer holidays, but we’d forget about our models left in the garden and the rain would get them.”


Ceramics offered a bit of an escape


“I wanted to get a break from teaching and spending my days in front of a computer screen. I found a craft centre close to the school I worked at and signed up for an evening class. As soon as I got on the wheel I knew I had found my clay calling. That was back in 2012. I got my first studio space in 2015 and it’s all grown slowly from there.”

Homethrown coffee cup Gem Mordle Bad Hand Coffee
I love working with clay, it’s so versatile


“I love the simplicity of the material and the tools that go with it. It never fails to amaze me that something with a simple body of minerals and water can make something you can hold in your own hands and keep forever. It’s pretty cool.

[Having said that], Clay is not forgiving. In many ways it can crack and bow, and the firing process can be hairy. But there is nothing like lifting the kiln lid to reveal vessels you are proud of.”

When I’m working in the ceramics studio…

“I love listening to podcasts. Off Menu, Ellis James & John Robins on Radio X, The High Low are a few faves and have got me through Lockdown.

Music? I listen to anything but these are often bouncing between my ears: Bahamas, Big Thief, Johnny Flynn, Mt Joy, Whitney, Pottery, Aldous Harding, Leif Vollebekk, Rhye."

Best pottery-related secret?

A fellow potter told me one day that I should add vinegar to my slip water. This apparently makes the bond of the clay walls stick better. I’ve used it ever since. The only downfall is the smell makes me crave chippies.

My favourite coffee to drink is Shaka


It gets me through those morning when I’m feeling like a tired slug and it tastes delicious!

Homethrown ceramic coffee cup Gem Mordle Bad Hand Coffee


When Gem isn’t in her studio, you’ll find her behind the counter at the awesome BakeHouse 24. For more ceramics-related goodness and info on pottery classes, check out Home Thrown Studio.


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