Kate Brouwer of Asobimasu Clay

Kate Brouwer is the creative craftswoman behind Melbourne-based Asobimasu Clay, a creative studio where a range of playful vessels, tableware and often sculptural ceramics take shape.

A core focus of Asobimasu Clay is sustainability and durability. A real reflection of Australia, Kate uses only local materials, including regionally sourced clay. All waste materials are recovered, recycled and then created into new works.

As part of our Celebration of Ceramics collection, Kate has crafted limited-edition stoneware vessels in both her velvet matte green and oatmeal gloss glazes. These beautiful vessels add not only enchanting fragrance, but a unique beauty to any space.

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What drew you to becoming a ceramic artist?

Floristry is my first love, and what drew me into exploring ceramics. With a deep love for my garden and creating wild arrangements, I was always seeking out interesting vessels to arrange in. Having long searched for the perfect vase, I soon decided the best outcome would be to create my own. Beginning with hand-building, I quickly moved onto wheel throwing. Realising my dreams would take many years of practice, I set my sights on learning the art of throwing and committed many hours to honing my craft. I now create bespoke and explorative vessels as a full time career, designing and crafting beautiful pieces for home makers, stylists and florists.

We love those ceramics that are long-lasting, often becoming keepsakes that are handed down and shared. Do you have a treasured piece of pottery, your own or by another ceramicist?

My favourite piece of pottery is one I crafted while my now two yr old daughter was growing inside my belly. I felt the charm of a vibrant young girl who would one day herself be creative and find her feet in this world. I wanted to create a special vessel that was representative of the time she had spent growing inside the womb. A vessel that would one day hold that moment as she continued to grow up in the outside world. This piece is a bellied vase form, glazed in a waxy matte glaze, flecked with stones and fired in a gas kiln. It sits on our mantle and one day will be gifted to my daughter when she's old enough to understand it's treasure too.

The art of creating ceramics appears so sensitive. How do you feel at the wheel? Do you need to relax before you work, or does your work relax you?

Running a small business can at times be overwhelming. There's deadlines, emails, projects, web development, accounts and all the other busy bits and pieces that come along, just like any other job. Thankfully, ceramics is also my down time, my relaxer and my re-centre. When everything feels too much, I leave my laptop at home and have a tech free day at the studio. I sit behind the wheel, play some music and remember why I'm here in the first place. To make and create is at my core, the biggest part of who I am.

We’re always interested in people’s environments. The space in which you create your pieces is naturally important. What inspires you about your studio?

I'm lucky enough to have moved into this beautiful glass fronted warehouse in the last twelve months. A space that has been custom fitted to suit our production needs. Packed with pottery shelves all the way to the ceiling, there's so much space to create, display and enjoy the pieces we're working on. The late afternoon sun filters in through our ceiling high windows, casting warmth across the concrete floors and shadows upon our shelves. This space is bursting with life and creativity, the most inspiring studio I've had the joy of working in. A studio we pieced together ourselves to bring context to our work and breath creativity into each aspect of our process.

With this unique collaboration, we’re connecting ceramics to scent. Do you have a scent you particularly love?

The smell of spring air, freshly filled with floral tones and rain droplets. September is springtime in Melbourne, it's also the month that my whole family celebrates their birthdays, myself, my Husband & our young daughter. The scent of spring evokes warmth and joy into our daily goings on and an air of celebration.