Meet Your Maker: RL Foote Design Studio

Author: Maggie Scardifield
Photography: Marcel Aucar

Ryan Foote draws inspiration from the culinary experience for his bold, playful porcelain tableware.

Artist and designer Ryan Foote, who divides his time between Melbourne and Hong Kong, works with an almost scientific rigour. "I like to imagine how food is served, eaten - even played with - along with what it is before I start creating my ceramics," he says

Foote, who is also a cook, founded RL Foote Design Studio in 2016 after his creative work in events and staging led him to porcelain. Since then, his bold and playful tableware has featured at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and is also displayed at the Craft Victoria gallery shop. While Foote's ceramics are always conceptual, they're also designed with practicality and longevity in mind.

How does your background in art, events and cooking influence your ceramics, Ryan?
I approach my ceramics in a similar way to my food and art events, thinking about all the elements that make up the culinary experience. Often I'll think of a space first, imagine what I'd love to cook, and then design the plates or ceramics around a particular recipe.

Where do you look for inspiration?
Everywhere from food markets, contemporary art to architecture. For example, my Bubble plates grew out of a project I was doing in Hong Kong for the mooncake festival; they're inspired by the lunar surface. The Bento range, as the name suggests, is inspired by traditional Japanese bento boxes and the pieces are designed to be used as a set or brought out dish-by-dish to form the final shape. I prefer to work with porcelain, too, because it gives me some amazing rich colours, texture and glaze finishes.

What else have you got planned this year?
I'm currently working on a pop-up chocolate shop, and have just finished an exclusive range of tableware for the National Gallery of Victoria, which features vases, plates, platters and absinthe cups inspired by the Van Gogh and the Seasons exhibition.

RL Foote Design Studio, ceramics from $30,

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