Henry & Tunks is a ceramic brand and product design studio.
The studio currently focuses on objects that you can use. Our forms are simple and functional, we craft designs with longevity in mind.
Each piece is handcrafted and unique. The ware is produced using small scale production techniques from Australian sourced clay and materials. The predominant technique used is slipcasting liquid clay into plaster moulds. This allows a consistency of form, however due to the handcrafted nature of the ware and the often unpredictable process of firing the result is not identical. The process produces forms with an unlimited range of outcomes. This is an integral part of our work and each piece is allowed to tell its own story.
I was in Art school for around 5 years. I loved every minute of it and learnt so much but what I truly learnt is that I do not consider myself an artist. That’s not to say that I didn’t do well, at the completion of my Ceramics Advanced Diploma I was offered an exhibition and representation in a professional gallery. This was the goal, right?
But it wasn’t quite right, the gallery world was not where I was comfortable. I was a little bit lost; the internet was not what it is today, and I didn’t see a way to sell my work that didn’t involve being part of the gallery scene. At this point I stumbled across a final year exhibition of Industrial Design work and knew this was for me. I loved making functional work and trying to understand how people interact with objects in their day-to-day life, maybe I was a designer?
I loved my design education, learning the technical aspects of manufacturing, how to develop concepts, making models, design history, everything. But as the degree went on, there was a realisation that I didn’t necessarily want to apply my knowledge in the way it was being taught. That is design objects (a lot of them disposable) that are produced in the thousands by others. I wanted to do something different.
I wanted to be involved not only in the design process but also in the manufacture – that is I knew I wanted to be someone who designs and makes their own product. I wanted to design objects that people wanted, beautiful products that would last. I knew clay was the perfect medium for me to achieve this.
Today I would say I live somewhere in between those worlds, drawing upon my experience at art school and my knowledge as an Industrial Designer. These two aspects are essential, and I couldn’t imagine doing what I do without this combined knowledge. Art, design, throw in a healthy dose of craft for good measure and you have Henry & Tunks.