Maxine Midtbo of Memor considers herself more of a mosaic artist than a ceramist. Creating joyful vessels and objects by setting unique, wonderful and unexpected fragments in to clay – every piece she creates takes on a new character upon formation.
At home in Ohio, she appreciates being part of a creative and tight-knit local community that fosters small businesses and creatives - a sentiment we are lucky enough to share with her all the way from our home in Byron Bay. We recently had the pleasure of working collaboratively with Memor on a collection of vessels that were inspired by our mutual connection to the Australian seaside.
Can you tell us how Memor Studio came about and the influence your mother had on the brand?
My mother is an antique collector. From the time I was young she would take me to auctions, estate sales, and flea markets. She shared her knowledge and passion for remnants and objects with me. Memor began as a way to approach combining these remnants in collaboration with others.
Have you always worked with ceramics or have there been other creative outlets you have pursued?
My process is more like mosaic work than ceramics. There is no firing and my technique is all additive. In art school I briefly worked with clay. I loved the feel of sculpting and creating 3-dimensional form but I found ceramics to be a bit inaccessible. Before Memor I was mostly creating sculptural installations and retail window displays.
Was there a certain feeling that you wanted to evoke in your collaboration with Tigmi Trading and what have you enjoyed about this collaboration?
My collection for Tigmi is inspired by the coast. The pieces have a lot of warmth, accentuating neutrals of the seaside and sea ephemera. Creating this collection brings me back to a few years in my early childhood when I spent a lot of time playing in the waters of the Australian coast.
As an artist, who do you admire most for their sense of aesthetic and what inspires you the most?
My influences are constantly changing! Recently I saw a show of Kehinde Wiley’s textiles and I was blown away by the intricacy and detail.
What is the most unexpected or memorable 'adornment' you have used to date?
I acquired the shard collection of a collector who saved ancient broken pottery from New Mexico and Israel. The pieces had been stored with such care and in each box was a hand written note about the history. I haven’t been able to bring myself to use them in my work. I feel more like I am their temporary guardian.
I acquired the shard collection of a collector who saved ancient broken pottery from New Mexico and Israel. I haven’t been able to bring myself to use them in my work. I feel more like I am their temporary guardian.
Can you tell us a little more about your home in Cincinnati, how did you end up there and what does home mean to you?
I came to Cincinnati for art school. I was sure after I graduated I would moved back to the east coast of the US. When an opportunity came last year to move to New York, my husband and I decided to stay. The creative community here is tight knit and unique. The city is rich and vibrant and affordable enough to foster small businesses and creatives.
Finally, you speak about your vessels epitomising our nostalgic relationship with objects, do you have an all time favourite object in your home?
Nostalgia seems to act on different memories at different times in life. Right now my favorite object is a small acrylic cube with a fully formed dandelion inside. I worked for an artist many years back who had one of these. She would always ask me to imagine how it was made. Every time I look at it I am reminded of the importance of wonder for the creative mind.
Tigmi Trading is the exclusive stockist of Memor in Australia.Shop the Memor x Tigmi collaboration HERE