Paddock to plates

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There’s an intrinsic connection between food and the ceramic tableware upon which it’s presented.

Potter Richilde Flavell, who provides ceramic tableware for five local eateries, has her artwork featured in Watson Art Centre’s The Chef and the Potter. Photo: Lean Timms.

For chefs and restaurant owners at the top of their game in the food service industry, it’s of vital importance, and is a key consideration for how they present their menu. Fine food needs to be complemented by fine ceramic tableware.

The Watson Arts Centre’s latest exhibition, The Chef and the Potter, explores how this relationship takes place locally.

It was conceived as a creative way to highlight how ceramics impact and contribute to the food scene in the Canberra region.

Potter Richilde Flavell of Girl Nomad Ceramics is one of six artists represented in The Chef and the Potter.

Flavell provides ceramic tableware for five local eateries, and tells Canberra Weekly it’s always a privilege to be a part of the chef and restaurant owner’s vision of how the public will enjoy and experience their food.

“The way we make the tableware is different from establishment to establishment, but often it’s a collaboration and a process of listening and responding to someone else’s vision.

“The tableware should work in concert with food to elevate that experience, even if it only impacts the diner on a subconscious level.”

Flavell says she loves the variety of work that producing tableware for eateries requires of her.

“It’s a real mix, and I think that’s really good for people who want to get into it. A lot of practice, design, creativity and alchemy as well.

“It’s really about finding the balance where utility and beauty co-exist in harmony, that peak moment you’re looking for in the tableware.”

The local connections between potters and various eateries is something Flavell values and appreciates.

“These owners and chefs have a real sense of the local, not just where the produce comes from – staff are local, tableware is local and it’s really supportive of Canberra, which is great.

“Restaurants and cafes are supporting local arts, and the community is, too. And it’s happening all around Australia and the world,” she says.

The Chef and the Potter is on display at Watson Arts Centre, 5-29 March; watsonartscentre.com.au

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