We're huge fans of Alison Frith's elegant ceramics. Alison makes the vases we use to display flowers in our shops, and we're thrilled to now be retailing a range of her beautiful stoneware cups, which are hand-made in Melbourne/Naarm especially for Market Lane!
We asked Alison to tell us a bit about how she got started as a ceramicist, the process of crafting these everyday cups, and how she likes to drink her coffee.
Market Lane Coffee: How did you get started as an artist and maker?
Alison Frith: My parents bought me some wheel-throwing lessons for Christmas when I was in my early 20s. I loved it instantly and continued the hobby for several years before I decided to go back and study full-time.
What does an ‘average’ workday look like for you?
I’m not really a morning person so things usually start pretty slow. I do a little admin at home and then head into the studio around 10.30/11. At the studio, I might crack a kiln so it can slowly cool before I unload it, check on anything from the day before that’s drying, or start throwing a new order. I usually work through to 5.30 and have a quick snack before my students arrive for evening classes.
We love the cups you make for Market Lane! What materials do you use for these cups and what’s the process of making them?
I use a fine white stoneware, which feels lovely and buttery to throw on the wheel. The handles are extruded with custom dies I have cut and are attached to the body when leather-hard. After each piece has slowly dried, they’re fired to 1000 degrees and ready to glaze. I make all glazes in-house; some are tried-and-tested favourites, others are newer, which means I’m still learning about their characteristics with each firing. The final firing is to 1280 degrees to ensure the finished mug is robust and ready for everyday use.
Who or what inspires you?
I love textiles and interiors. Colours, textures and surfaces will always grab my attention. I also enjoy working from an interdisciplinary studio of different makers and artists. It’s inspiring to be around people who work with different materials such as leather, steel, wood and textiles. Sometimes I’m surprised where ideas spring from – often it can be miles away from the actual clay itself.
Do you drink coffee? If so, what’s your favourite way to brew/order it and where do you usually enjoy it?
Love coffee! We are pretty old-school in our house and drink stovetop. If I’m lucky, my partner delivers me one in bed of a morning. I often take up to an hour to drink my coffee – never in a rush. If I’m out and about, it’s always a flat white.
Alison’s cups are available in select Market Lane shops and here.