Pegs Marlow is a Melbourne based ceramicist who makes work out of her home studio in Thornbury. She is process driven in her practice - focusing on wheel-throwing, technique and form using stoneware clay. This texture or 'tooth' in the clay is what gives beautiful character and depth to Peg’s pieces.
There is a certain earthiness and lots of charm present in the sturdy flat plates and tumblers - perfect for an impromptu backyard picnic or antipasto platter at a friends place this Summer.
Included are small vessels for salt, spices - not limited to the dining side of things - as her pieces also work perfectly for jewellery or keepsakes that need a home.
Pegs has had a long career in the creative arts. Having studied Visual Arts, majoring in sculpture at Ballarat University, then going on to focus on pottery at the Carlton Arts Centre, also working at Gooseneck Pottery in Gippsland for a number of years. Pegs' is currently studying art therapy and works in community centres across Melbourne, you may also see her from time to time behind the desk at Mr Kitly.
Her work is an expression of love, and the simple beauty of eating/drinking out of a vessel someone has made by hand.
Come in and see for yourself !
This week we had the pleasure of visiting Peg's at her beautiful home in Thornbury.
Scroll down for our Q&A...
What is your process for making, and what draws you to clay - or type of clay you mostly use for your work ?
I work in bursts. I’ve always been someone who is very easily distracted, so when your studio is in your backyard, and you have your cat and pet chickens just out the door, I’m forever taking breaks to see what everyone is up to.
Ceramics have become so ubiquitous, so I’m really conscious of waste. I use mostly recycled stoneware clays which often I will collect from other potters when they end up with more slops then they know what to do with! So my studio, though tiny, is mostly buckets of clay stewing away.
I think people can’t help being drawn in by clay. It’s highly addictive. For me personally, it was my saviour after a particularly difficult time in my life. Learning to throw, which requires one to learn to centre clay on a spinning wheel, quite literally helped to re-centre me, physically and emotionally. And now I just can’t give the darn thing up.
Favourite foods to eat off your wares? Special dishes?
My favourite bowls to eat out of were actually made by local potter Gordon Hickmott. My partner and I call it ‘rice bowl’, and basically it consists of any ingredients you desire piled on top of rice in a bowl! Usually there’s tofu with lots of ginger, avocado and toasted seeds. Also highly addictive.
What do you like to do in your down time?/when your away from the studio?
I like walking. I love walking and looking into other peoples gardens. Knowing where the birds live in my area, and where nests are, has become part of my daily ritual. I love gardening, and watching things grow. My Japanese Maple that I planted 4 years ago is now taller than me.
What is the story behind your two beautiful chooks?
Our beautiful chooks were four, and now only number two. Three of them came to us from a school nearby- probably a school hatching program, which I loathe- and were discarded because they were laying infrequently. Two sadly died last year and are buried under our apple tree. Mildred chicken remains of those three, and due to a stroke she had early this year she is mostly blind, and remains our high maintenance chookie. It’s amazing how well she has adapted though, and responds to finger clicks to locate food. She thinks she can survive on cuddles alone (which she seeks out daily) but we are convinced that a varied diet will help. Little Lilly we adopted when she was having trouble settling in to her previous home. She needed lots of extra love and care that we felt we could give her. She is as mad as they come, and whilst we know she is a hen (she lays eggs!) she also crows like a rooster!
What are the pros/cons of a home studio?
The pros are definitely convenience, and quiet. I tried sharing a studio recently and found that I couldn’t concentrate whilst there was so much noise going on around me. My garden studio is peaceful and a cup of tea and a snack, and a chook, are only a stones throw away... The cons I guess would be that my garden and pets are a constant distraction, and just the walk to my studio can take all morning if I stop to weed, water or pat a cat or cuddle a chicken along the way.
Photography: Gina Diggle
Words: Augusta Vinall Richardson