Recently we teamed up with Angus McDiarmid from Pan Pottery to create a range of limited edition mugs to serve our batch brew in. Teaming up with Angus was an obvious choice. His values of working in a sustainable, ethical and environmental manner align with the Clandestino values, and the fact that he is a local potter was just icing on the cake. We are so excited to work with Angus and that we can bring you smooth brews in such incredible, unique mugs.
Shop Mugs here
We sat down with Gus to talk all things all things passion, philosophy and process to his work. See interview below…
What do you like most about pottery?
I love the connection. To know that you are linked to a craft that has evolved with human beings for the last 20,000 years is a beautiful thought.
Can you tell us a bit about what first got you into making Pottery?
In 2011, while cycling through the South American Andes I was introduced to the most beautiful way of life and living. Almost everything in the homes I was invited into was made by the people themselves. From the house, to the rugs, pottery and chairs. I fell in love with craft, seeing an object that held so much function and beauty excited me. Bridget and I travelled to India the following year and we again saw the beauty of pottery. It was there we stayed and I studied for 6 months.
Your approach to your craft is a labor of love. Can you tell us about your full process to making your pieces and what’s involved?
It’s an amazing process, one that I truly love and am still so excited and energized by.
First I dig the clay (finding the right spot is a constant journey). The clay is then dried, soaked, sieved and dried again which takes around 6-8 weeks. Then the clay is aged for as long as possible, hopefully 1-3months. After that I throw the pots on a traditional kick wheel and fire them to 1000 degrees which takes around 20 hours. I then take the pots out, glaze them and fire them again to 1320 degrees for another 50 hours or so, stoking the fire every 5-10 minutes!
Chopping wood is in there also. All the wood I use for the firings are dead fall trees and off cuts from the local saw mills. The magic of wood firing occurs when the ash from the wood melts onto the pots. Every single wood fired pot is unique. It’s an amazing journey and ritual keeping life to a fire for days on end! The cycle takes 8 weeks and we fire our kiln 6 times a year.
We love that you hand dig clay from the ground around where you live. What made you choose to use local clay?
Initially it was the way I was taught in India. It just made sense. We live in a part of Australia that has incredible clay and I want to make pots that represent the beauty of this area. The pots that have connection to this place and there is a magic to working with unrefined raw materials. I want to let that quality shine. Sometimes the clay is extremely unpredictable but the beauty far exceeds anything else!
How has your practice change over time?
I am only at the beginning of my journey. My forms, throwing, and approach is always evolving. Understanding techniques and approaches to clay and wood firing is truly endless.
Where do you mostly find your inspiration for Pan Pottery?
I love looking at cultures where pottery is an intrinsic part of them. French provincial bowls for large salads, Devonshire Jugs for pints of mead! I love nothing more than sitting down with friends and family and eating delicious food all afternoon! I think that is a large reason why I make pots!
You’re a Noosa local, can you tell us some of your favourite things about living in Noosa?
Noosa is so beautiful! Surfing at the National Park is close to my favourite thing in the world! The people and community are so supportive and inspiring.
What does Pan Pottery mean?
Pan is everything! Pantheism is the realisation we are all one, Pan is the God of Nature in Greek mythology, Pan also translates to the Advaita Vedanta, a Vedic philosophy of non-duality & oneness. Pan is also the flute, a folk instrument and bread, which is the staff of life!