Sarah and Lucy Pepworth are the directors of The Alchemist’s Table. Having grown up with a father in the ceramics industry, it was perhaps then that their passion for crockery was moulded. “We’ve long since left the nest,” explained the duo. “But it’s time to come back together to create something new.”
Having only officially launched in November of last year, The Alchemist’s Table is still finding its footing. But ceramics is what they know and understand said the sisters. With a relatively small team working out of their father’s studio in Palmerston North, the team provide high-quality products to restaurants and cafés. “We wanted to take the natural raw simplicity of clay dug out of the ground and turn it into something magical. It excites us to take rustic handcrafted shapes and combine them with spontaneous, magical glaze effects to create products that chefs around the world can use to present their culinary art.”
The Alchemist’s Table is a celebration of the magic of colour, form and natural organic beauty, something that defines the Alchemist’s Table range. The concept of alchemy also has a daily influence on the Pepworth’s work. “One definition of alchemy is the quest to transform base minerals into precious metals. And like pottery, the process of alchemy was pretty much a dream without an end game. The passionate obsession to discover something wonderful from something basic and raw, that’s what we do with the same obsessive zeal.”
As a young company, creation and innovation are essential for The Alchemist’s Table. The duo looks to do this through careful monitoring of the market. They work closely with some of New Zealand’s top chefs and restaurants to create unique pieces and evolve their current range. After consultation and sharing the vision of their creative customers (chefs), they introduce the skill and the alchemical process to give form to the imagination and dreams of the clients.
To the Pepworths, outstanding tableware is about uniquity; it’s about how the food works with the pieces. “Our tableware should be the canvas for culinary art.” Not only should the piece be unique, however, but creating a memorable first impression is also important. Being a boutique business, The Alchemist’s Table hopes to bring these exact qualities to the venues they are providing.
The world is moving further away from sleek white plates to more natural and rustic tableware. “The whole restaurant experience is enhanced when chefs can select specific shapes and colours for the presentation of special menu items.”
Looking to the future, The Alchemist’s Table hopes to continue working with talented chefs, contributing to their creative skills to achieve uniquely personal outcomes. They love the challenge of producing something mystical and creative that is also durable and technically robust, watch this space.