When we asked Lilly, the talented maker behind Mäe Ceramics, if she would do us the honour of being October's Gangster of the Month, her answer was pretty definitive...
‘Yes!! I bloody love granola!’
She also hates refined sugar lurking in her cereal and can devour an entire bag of G in one sitting, faster than anyone we know. It's safe to say, she’s stolen our hearts and is well and truly living up to the title.
After graduating from art school back in New Zealand, Lilly signed up for a night pottery class and instantly fell in love with the art of wheel thrown ceramics. She's been creating stunning minimal and sometimes quirky pieces ever since. Having recently finished a large commission for a new restaurant in Brixton, Lilly is now turning her hand to a range of mugs for an uber cool homewares store in Copenhagen.
"I love being able to make a simple plate or bowl which food looks bangin’ on."
Her sprinkled ‘party spoons’ (or, as we like to call them, bowl-to-mouth vehicles) originally caught our eye and we’ve since been crushing on Lilly’s entire collection, including simple plates and bowls with speckled stoneware clay, and mugs with dainty-looking yet deceivingly strong handles. If boredom strikes while glazing, splashes of pink (hands down her favourite colour) sprinkles and egg drawings have a tendency to pop up in Lilly’s work, resulting in a range of totally fun yet functional pieces.
Lilly and her beloved foot wheel (above) have recently moved to her own studio space in South East London where she wasted no time painting the floor bright pink, and so naturally, she’s feeling ‘pretty darn good about life’. Stoked to be Lilly’s first official guest, I was invited into her new studio to see how she takes a squishy lump of clay and turns it into one of her bowls, step-by-step. After becoming completely mesmerised by the spinning wheel, sipping on tea and munching on granola, I cornered her with our quick-fire questions. Here’s what went down….
Tea or coffee?
Coffee, for sure.
Dr Dre or Dizzee Rascal?
Dizzy Rascal...I think.
Granola straight from the bowl or the bag?
I guess bowl, because I have to say bowl, because I make bowls but sneakily…(motions her hand grabbing straight from the bag).
How would you design a bowl purpose-built for serving granola?
For granola, I suppose it would be quite big, like a massive tub and it doesn’t matter about glaze because I just want to be able to nail the granola from it.
What would we find in your fridge?
Two old vegetables, a loaf of Vogels bread because that’s where I keep it, yogurt, some fruit...that’s about it. Oh haloumi, for sure.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Usually, it's because I've timed the kiln so I have to come in to do some work...otherwise, not much!
Talk me through any morning rituals?
I get to the studio, put my overalls on, put my apron on, make a little cup of tea and sit down at this table. I get my diary out and make a list for the day. I then check it off throughout the day and it’s soooo satisfying.
What are you working on right now?
A commission for 50 cups for a store in Copenhagen.
How does food inspire what you create?
I just want to make food look nice. Food itself is nice but when it can live on a nice thing, that’s even better.
What makes you a gangster?
Ummm not having a conventional job...oh god, is that so inappropriate?!
Top 5 bowl foods:
Apart from granola, obviously...
- Soup – any kind of vegetable soup with some bread with an obscene amount of butter plastered on top;
- A veggie curry;
- Some kind of salad preferably with feta;
- Spaghetti bolognese;
- Salt and vinegar crisps (but I only bother putting these bad boys in a bowl if I’m trying to impress guests or make myself feel better about nailing crisps).
You can keep up to date with Lilly's collection and studio goings on over on her Instagram: @mae.ceramics and get your hands on her wares via her website or at an upcoming market. If you fancy turning your hand to her craft, don’t miss out on her one-on-one lessons or group workshops for a chance to make a lil’ summin’ summin’ of your own.
Mäe Ceramics GIVEAWAY!
Keep your eyes locked on our Instagram this month because we'll be giving away a Mäe Ceramics set, including one of Lilly's signature party spoons and a granola bowl… the very one I saw being made from scratch! Entry details revealed soon so watch that square.