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Meet: Ceramicist Elnaz Nourizadeh

Ceramicist Elnaz Nourizadeh seated in her studio in front of her wheel.
27 November 2018

Have you seen our beautiful new reusable take-away coffee cups, made especially for Market Lane Coffee by Melbourne artist Elnaz Nourizadeh?

Four of our passions led us to discover Elnaz’s stunning work: our love of coffee (of course), our perennial commitment to becoming more environmentally sustainable, our passion for supporting talented local artists and makers, and our desire to make the everyday coffee ritual just that little bit more special.

We love the idea of durable, reusable take-away cups and we wanted to offer an option that doesn’t interfere with the taste of the delicious coffee inside, and that is beautiful to look at as you walk down the street, take sips in the car or tram, or enjoy your coffee at your desk.

Each of Elnaz’s cups is individually hand thrown and painted, and every one is completely unique and one-of-a-kind. We love the shape and light weight of these cups, as well as Elnaz’s stunning, bold use of colour. These cups are also easy to clean and safe to pop in the dishwasher.

Recently we were lucky enough to visit Elnaz’s studio in Ripponlea, to admire all her pieces and watch her work. You can read our short interview with Elnaz below, and find out more about her background and training on her website.

Market Lane Coffee: What inspires you as an artist and maker?

Elnaz Nourizadeh: There are always many inspiring things around but the main ones are nature and abstract paintings, especially 'Colour Field Movement' paintings. I love almost all the artists in this movement. Some favourites that come to mind are Helen Frankenthaler’s paintings, as well as Mark Rothko's work – I love Untitled (red, black, white on yellow) – and Robert Motherwell’s catalogue, especially Throw of Dice #17.

What materials do you use for these cups and how do you make them?

I use earthenware clay. I make the cups with a pottery wheel then hand-build the handles. I use high quality, food-safe glazes, and brush glaze each of them individually.

I use earthenware clay for a few reasons. The most important one is because it is eco-friendly. Some other reasons are the lightness of the material – perfect for a take-away cup – and also the brightness of colour that I can achieve using this material.

What motivated the shape and design of them?

I love to bring art to everyday life. My works aren’t the kind of objects you can find at a random shop or strip mall. So when I see that people like what I’m making, it gives me the energy to keep working; to get new ideas and make new things.

It’s pleasing to hear people say "Your ceramics are different, no one uses colours as you do," or "How do you make a handle so comfortable? Wowww this mug is so light". These reactions to my work become the motivation for my future work.

What's your favourite way to drink coffee, and where do you usually drink it?

I normally make my own cold brew coffee and I love it. But when I'm out of the house I prefer to get a latte. The best thing in the word is a latte that’s just the right temperature. I like to go to small local cafes and, since I now know about Market Lane coffee, I wish there was one close to my place!


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