Taking care of unfinished business at Mud Australia

Remember that lovely ceramics shop below our flat in Sydney that was closed the entire time we were there? Well, as I faced a weekend of work and taxes, I resolved that I would carve out at least enough time to make a visit to the shop’s London sibling.

I had the shop to myself, and when the shopkeeper asked if I had any questions I said, “Well, is there anything I should know?” What ensued was just marvelous: He started by telling me the story of the ceramicist who founded the brand in 1994, then gave me a deep-dive into how the colors are made and the pots are glazed, before walking me through the entire collection and opening all the cupboards and drawers so that I could see everything.

What I found particularly charming is just how personal it all was. Not only did he refer to the founder by name in a way that was clear he knew her personally, but also all the ceramicists. He told me about how it was Pamela who spilled the paint and accidentally discovered one of their most popular colors. And how Margot lost her sense of smell because she use to work at a different pottery where the white dyes used a caustic bleach (and is why Mud doesn’t use any bleaches for its whites). When he showed me the company catalog, he named everyone in the photos and pointed out who the experts were and which types of pots they all did. He described how he and some of the others felt that the water jugs were a little too small to be really practical, so they were going to have a meeting to discuss making bigger ones.

In other words, it was just the best sort of shopping experience. Beautiful things made with skill and expertly sold. I loved it.

So it’s not surprising that I wanted to bring some of this magic home with me. But instead of just buying all the things, I exercised great restraint and only bought three tiny salt bowls that could serve as color samples. I wanted to make sure that I was picking a color that would look good with all my blue and white dishes.

Turns out the pink was my favorite — not surprising, since that’s also what Amanda and I concluded after a week of staring through the windows of the Sydney shop.

The yellow is pretty, too, but feels a little faint (and the other yellow they had felt too strong). I knew the blue-green “bottle” color wouldn’t do much for the blue and white, but it’s just such a gorgeous color that I couldn’t help myself.

So now I’m going to mull it over and figure out what gaps I might have in my cobbled-together blue-and-white service that I can fill with choice pink (or possibly yellow) dishes.

And while we’re on the topic of beautiful things from Australia, here are photos of the beautiful trays I found in the gift shop of the Royal Botanic Garden. They’re made in Denmark out of pressed wood and are printed with Australian flowers. I mentioned them to Lady and she was eager to see them, so here you go:

I have to say, one effect of finding all these beautiful things is that they make me eager for the next move back to Seattle (or whenever I manage to get a condo in Boise) — I want to be able to put them all to use entertaining!


  1. Sorry Jason! I definitely like the yellow more than the pink.


    1. Hahaha, I knew it!


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