Gem Mordle at Home Thrown Studio is someone we think everyone should know about. Some folks radiate joy, warmth and positivity in a way that you can’t help but want to find ways to work with them. That’s Gem.
Gem’s ceramics are playful, imperfect and soulful – drawing on simplicity, organic forms and influenced by Scandinavian & Japanese designs. Every piece is unique, made by hand or thrown on the wheel at her small studio in Boscombe, on the Dorset coast.
You might have already noticed the custom hand built Home Thrown x Fill scoops in our shop (designed in collaboration with illustrator Eleonora Marton). If you haven’t seen them, they make for a wabi-sabi way to measure out laundry detergent or mix up your own cleaning products. We’ve just received a fresh batch, straight from the kiln. Hurry though, they do go fast.
I have a real interest in pottery, but I know my place as a super flyweight amateur. I tried making a few scoops & pourers for myself a few years ago, but had been following Gem for a while so decided to write her on Instagram one day, after she’d posted some good-looking spoons on her grid. We had a call, got on well and I was real happy when she agreed to collaborate.
Back in the first days of summer in 2018 I headed down to her studio in Dorset. She’d made tea, cinnamon buns and laid out some hand-built and freshly fired scoops in the workshop courtyard sun – ready for glazing. Eleonora had sent through some patterns and I turned up to help with the painting – that’s how it all begun.
We caught up again with Gem this week, to find out more about Home Thrown and to look inside her studio.
HOW DID YOU WIND UP AT HOME THROWN STUDIO?
Back in 2008 I moved to Dorset for a Secondary Teaching Job. I had always wanted to have a go at ceramics and making pots on the wheel – Poole being the home of Poole Pottery! I managed to find a pottery studio at a Craft Centre which was at the bottom of the school drive. I started taking evening classes in 2013 and fell in love with the hands-on approach to pottery making. No screen in sight, my mind was able to fully relax and be in the present. It became very addictive and an escape from the rat race. In 2016 I found a studio to rent in a converted factory. Initially my space was only a couple of metres but it was enough to home my small wheel and a kiln. It has slowly grown from there. Now I feel fully part of a community and make for local businesses and run ceramic workshops.
WHAT MAKES HOME THROWN A COOL PLACE TO BE
It has to be the workshoppers, who have all become close friends. There’s always a lot of chat and laughter and music playing.
IF YOU WEREN’T RUNNING HOME THROWN WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING
I work part time at Bakehouse 24, making sourdough and delicious pastries, so if I’m not behind the wheel at Home Thrown I’m probably there or cooking for friends. Or most probably walking a dog in the
forest or on the beach.
WHAT STARTED YOU OUT IN LOW IMPACT LIVING
I have always been conscientious about my lifestyle and consumer choices and try to minimise my impact on the planet. As much as possible I try to support local, buying from my friends who run independent businesses in Bournemouth. I think the pandemic has made this so much easier and it’s been heart-warming to see local business offering services to their neighbourhoods, making it so much easier to buy local.
HOW DO YOU ESCAPE
By walking to the beach or forest, listening to music and podcasts and swimming in the sea – all year round. Throwing pots and making bread.
ONE PLACE WE SHOULD GO SEE
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen. It is incredible!
WHO IS YOUR ZERO (LOW WASTE) HERO
Greta Thunberg. She is an incredible, inspiring, force of nature. Wise before her years and unstoppable in her drive for climate change awareness.
LAST SONG YOU CHOSE TO LISTEN TO
Hot Tears – Leif Vollebekk
WHAT SONG WOULD YOU LIKE TO ADD TO THE FILL CLEAN REPEAT PLAYLIST
Southern Nights – Whitney
Fill without doubt! 🙂
HARDEST THING TO FIND ZERO WASTE
Affordable and 100% renewable fuel
Good people with an amazing product who care about their community and planet.