Locals love affair with pottery forged a flourishing business

Published 3:03pm 2 May 2018

Locals love affair with pottery forged a flourishing business
Words by Kylie Knight

The pottery wheel turns, music plays and Ally Weinrauch paints a pot made by her husband Barney.

Behind the chilled scene is a thriving company that started at the Old Fire Station Community Arts and Volunteer Hub in Redcliffe not long after it opened.

Barney's love affair with clay started about 40 years ago when he began to "throw" clay gathered from the side of the road in a country town in New Zealand – throwing describes the process of forming clay on a potter's wheel.

“It gave me a good understanding of the raw material and how it works,” he says. For 17 years

Barney had not "thrown" a pot when Ally signed up for a pottery workshop at Old Fire Station in Redcliffe.

Ally says her love for pottery reignited the enthusiasm of Barney for the medium and soon the muddy pair started running classes and sharing pictures of their products on social media.

From there the company Redraku, started to take shape.

Their first job was for Geoff Abel at Flock Eatery. He had seen photos on Instagram and commissioned them to create cups and plates for his Redcliffe cafe.

He had a good vision of how he wanted his food to appear on the tables, so they produced tableware that matched them with colours, textures and lips. And clients soon began to ask where they might buy the crockery.

“They were selling really well,” Ally says.

Geoff then asked if the couple could build a ceramic “keep” cup prototype with a silicone cap, thus reducing the need for disposable cups.

They placed 10 on the shelf and all ten sold that day. Today they market the cups in 22 cafes across Australia and their work has shipped to Ireland, Germany, the United States and New Zealand customers.

“That’s where we’re at, trying to keep up with that demand,” she says.

After the demand Redraku will move to their own studio in Clontarf.

Ally says that the moment she boxes the product for a client, planning what she says feels like a surprise for another, is her favourite part of the operation.

“I enjoy direct custom orders and sending modern ceramics we’ve made out into the community,” she says.

Discover Redraku https://www.redraku.com/

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