An outside-the-box approach sets this handmade tableware
Ion Fukazawa is the man behind Mukumono Ceramics, a studio that makes bespoke tableware for Sydney restaurants including Sixpenny, Ester, LuMi and Izakaya Fujiyama. The designer and maker studied ceramics in Tokyo and Seto in Japan, and in the rainforests of Borneo, as well as design in the Netherlands. His ceramic tableware, hand-thrown on a manual wheel, is the result of these experiences. The pieces balance a traditional Japanese aesthetic with a more robust and earthy Australian bent.
What inspires your designs, Ion?
If it's a new design for a restaurant, inspiration might come from talking with the chef, the concept of the restaurant, a certain dish, or the interior and atmosphere of the space. For more experimental self-driven projects, inspiration comes from different materials and forms found in nature, like plants or rocks.
What has been your favourite collaboration to date?
Probably Ester. I always wanted to experiment with ash but I couldn't find a constant source. When they approached me for a few plates I proposed to salvage their ash from the wood-fired oven - a waste product born from the fire, wood and smoke flavouring Mat Lindsay's food - and use it as a glaze material. To serve food on plates that have been made from the ash that cooked your dinner somehow completes a nice cycle.
How does the ash affect the glazes?
It's quite similar to the concept of terroir in wine. Different woods have different chemical compositions, down to the soil they grew in, so the glaze ratios have to be adjusted constantly. It's quite fascinating.
Mukumono ceramics, from $32; mukumono.com.au
Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.