Keeping it in the family.
Mieke and Charlie De Deyne are just like many mother-daughter pairs: they’re close, and have the same taste in almost everything.
What sets the pair apart is their unrelenting creativity, which is brought to life with their ceramic business, Mas & Miek.
You may have already seen the amazing wares by Mieke and Charlie splashed across various social media platforms; they’ve made quite a name for themselves in Brisbane with their striking creations inspired by natural forms.
With painterly effects and unique shapes, the designs are just asking to be picked up, touched and admired.
You can tell a lot of passion and experimentation goes into the vessels that Charlie and Mieke create, and they both speak of ceramics as if it were another member of the family.
“We continuously chase the fleeting moments of elemental chance; the slight change in temperature or atmosphere in the kiln that splashes unexpected effects across a glaze and can create amazing colours,” says Mieke.
Originally a painter, Mieke turned to ceramics 15 years ago and never looked back.“Ceramics is an endless craft so you can spend your whole life working in the medium and always have another avenue to discover and another skill to learn. However, that being said, I have often combined painting and ceramics.”
Charlie inherited her mother’s creative flair and obsession with ceramics. “I used to come and intrude her studio as a kid and play on the wheel or make little monsters, so clay was always second nature,” Charlie says.
But it wasn’t until a few years ago that Charlie decided to adopt ceramics as a more integral part of her life.
“We have been collaborating under the name Mas & Miek for around five years now,” she says, “selling our work at GoMA Design Markets and various pop up shops we held.”
While working with family is bound to come with the occasional disagreement, Charlie says she and her mother don’t clash creatively and work well thanks to their very similar personalities.
Mieke agrees, and strongly endorses family businesses, provided everyone gets along.
“Nearly 70 per cent of Australian business have their foundations in family-run organisations,” says Mieke. “You trust and know each other better than anybody, and who better to share the fruits of your labour with?”
So what’s next for the dynamic duo? Luckily for Brisbane locals, Mas & Miek is about to open a magnificent space in Newstead, complete with a large studio for hosting classes and workshops alongside an onsite café and shop.
“Students can either learn to throw on the pottery wheel, or hand-build on the work tables in an individualised program that evolves with their progress,” says Charlie. “We’re really excited for our opening this month, and to share this workspace with others.”