Food begins with the plate, says potter Georgie

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CERAMICIST Georgie Bryant says food has gone from being something we eat, to something we also talk about, look at and photograph.

“It seems to be everywhere and – I would say this as a potter,” she laughs, “but it seems that the natural progression is to ask: ‘If we care about what we’re eating, what are we eating it off?’

Georgie creates bespoke tableware for individuals, cafes and restaurants with a focus on “providing functional, domestic ware that is contemporary, earthy and honest”.

Her pieces can be found in Bar Rochford, Doughnut Department and Highroad. Georgie is currently making tableware for The Cupping Room for its new menu in April.

“It’s sheer delight when I wander past one of the restaurants where my plates are and see people having a nice time, maybe not everyone is thinking about the plates, but it’s all part of the picture,” she says.

She works with chefs and restaurant owners.

“They’re usually very passionate and I’m passionate, too. They want something special and I want something special as well. I like working with them to develop something that’s unique.

“I’ve stood in cool rooms with chefs, looking at pork knuckles, to understand what is going to go on the plate. They are all about the food being right and I’m all about the plate being right and then we have an overlap where we have to be right together, which is not just technical, it’s got to be affordable, I’ve got to be able to reproduce it, it’s got to be attractive and it has to make sense with the food.

“I quite enjoy getting the detail right, the size and the form, which you need to do if you’re going to do production pottery,” she says, saying the process of making dozens of repeat items becomes a rhythm.”

For Georgie, turning her ceramics practice into a business, under her label Linburn Handmade, has been an organic process.

After moving to Canberra for work she took up a pottery class at the Watson Arts Centre, developing a passion for pottery which soon saw her working with a production potter before embarking on her own business venture.

The name, Linburn, is a nod to her childhood home near Mudgee, NSW, where she was surrounded by her mother’s cherished porcelain and learned to make things with her father.

“My dad is probably at the root of all this, unknowingly. He’s a really clever guy who can manufacture anything. He’s a farmer and learned to build all sorts of buildings around NSW with his father when he was a young man.

“I couldn’t help but learn from them that I wanted to make beautiful and useful things.”

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