The smooth lines and elegant porcelain ceramics from Beste Ogan

We use plates, bowls and mugs every day. So why not make them works of art? This is exactly what porcelain ceramic artist Beste Ogan aims to do.

She creates incredible, intimate pieces designed for pleasure to use everyday. We were thrilled to sit down for a chat and learn more about her craft.

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Beste Organ in her studio
The incredible talented Beste Ogan
BesteOgan white and grey dining set

It wasn’t until her life felt seemingly impossible that Beste Ogan found her true calling and passion in art .

“My journey to becoming an artist began after our life-changing move from Turkey to Australia 10 years ago,” Beste explains.

“I’ve always loved making things but making a living as a creative was not feasible in Turkey. I studied Business Administration at university and went on to found and manage the Istanbul operation of an international packaging company.

“Then the Global Financial Crisis happened. Coupled with some family problems, life as I knew it became unbearable.

“I found my escape in an interior design course on the weekends, which soon encouraged me to believe that it wasn’t too late to follow my dream of doing something creative and start anew. 

“Toward the end of 2011, I applied to do a Masters in Design at the School of Art & Design, UNSW and got accepted. Within 3 months, my husband and I packed up our well-settled life in Istanbul and moved to Sydney. 

“I began my Masters thinking I would do interior or furniture design but toward the end of my degree I found myself in the ceramics studio and fell in love with clay.

I just loved (and still do) how I could turn a lump of clay or a bucket of slip into a completely functional unique object all by myself from start to finish. And the possibilities are endless! 

“For 2 and a half years I lost and re-found myself in that ceramics studio. I knew then that I never wanted to go back to a ‘normal’ job again.”

BesteOgan 4clr dining set
Pebble cheese platter by Beste Ogan

Beste’s designs are simple, elegant and made for a bit of luxe in your every day.

“I design and make beautiful, tactile porcelain tableware. They’re designed as a pleasure for every day use.

“I call them ‘textures-to-touch’,” Beste says with a smile. “Intimate, functional, porcelain objects that bring you joy and make you not want to let go!

“Of all the possibilities ceramics offers, I chose to design tableware because I’ve always been a foodie.

It’s important to me that whatever I make, it needs to be functional as well as aesthetic. I didn’t want to create something beautiful that would never be used.

“And it’s always pained me to see cheap, off-the-shelf tableware being used to serve amazing food, even in some really good restaurants. So when I began my ceramics journey, creating tableware really was a no-brainer.”

Beste Ogan all black dining set2
Beste Ogan marbled side plate
BesteOgan blue bowls on the beach

Now calling South Fremantle in Western Australia home, Beste shares a passion for the beach and draws from its beauty in her designs.

“I love living in South Fremantle with my husband Alex, and our 2 boys — Derin (7) and Arel (3). We’re just a stone’s throw from the beach and I adore beach combing. It’s like my meditation and I find a lot of inspiration for my works here.

“My art is my full-time job, alongside being Mum to our 2 boys. We have no extended family to help us out so it’s a bit of a juggling act, as it is for all working Mums.

“I’m inspired by natural materials, objects and colours — especially the beach and the ocean. I love the beauty of their organic forms, their simplicity and the tactility of their patina as they age.

“I always try to capture that tactility and sensuality in my work that invites a person to touch and caress. Watching people engage with my work is also such a joy. I adore seeing their reaction as they touch it for the first time.

I hope my work brings people little moments of joy. As you sip your morning coffee or connect with your loved ones over a delicious home-cooked meal,” smiles Beste.

Beste Ogan TABAK white combo dining set
Beste Ogan in her studio

Working mostly with porcelain, Beste’s pieces are intricately and painstakingly planned and considered.

“Every piece I create starts with an idea. An idea inspired by a natural object like a shell or a pebble, or to resolve a need. Something like when I’m cooking and realise a certain size or shape of plate or bowl would be very useful,” Beste explains.

“Then I live and breathe that idea for months until it fully takes shape in my mind. Unlike most creatives I rarely sketch. I just jot down ideas and a rough form.

“I decide on the size, taking into consideration the ergonomics, as well as practicality. Like how it fits in the dishwasher! These are really important in my designs. Then I reverse engineer it because my porcelain shrinks about 18%. 

“When I’m happy with all of this, I make a model in clay. I let my hands guide me to finalise the form. Then I make a mould of that model in plaster.

“Once the mould is completely dry, I can slip-cast multiple copies of the form in porcelain in my signature colours or marbling. I use natural oxides to colour my porcelain slip to achieve a natural look.

“When dry enough, I remove the form from the mould, alter some of the forms to give each their individuality, smooth over the rim, and lightly burnish the surface and leave it to dry for its first kiln firing.

“After the first firing, I apply clear glaze to the interior of marbled pieces. I wet-sand all other pieces to ensure the silky smooth surface including the rims and fire them unglazed.

“Everything is wet-sanded again after the second firing. I seal the unglazed pieces with a durable food-safe water-based quartz sealer.

Beste Ogan TABAK Black and white combo dining set
Beste Ogan TABAK leather series salad bowls
BesteOgan Oceanic dining set

The incredible, bespoke dining sets from Beste Ogan really are something special.

“I really, really enjoy creating bespoke dining sets. It becomes a very intimate joint project between me and my client as they share their dining and cooking habits with me,” says Beste.

“From here, we mix and match different colours, forms and sizes. I get especially excited when they choose a custom colour. Seeing the happiness on their face when they receive the finished dining set and later hearing how much they enjoy using them as part of their every day… this is the reason I do what I do.

“Up next, I’m excited about a new tableware range I currently have in the ideas stage. It combines food and ceramics to create a unique dining experience. Something that has always been a dream of mine.

“Also I’m playing with the idea of doing some sculptural work for the first time. But we’ll see…”

A big thank you to Beste Ogan for sharing her incredible porcelain ceramics with us. You can follow her process and latest works on Instagram or be sure to discover her collections and creations on her website.

More ceramic artists here

Beste Ogan with handmade ceramics
Beste Ogan TABAK dining set
Beste Ogan TABAK double sided platter
Beste Ogan leather cups
Beste Ogan TABAK black combo dining set
Beste Ogan marbled takeaway cups
Marbled platter by Beste Ogan
BesteOgan double-sided platters at the beach
Gina Beschorner Style Curator

Welcome to Style Curator, your destination for daily interiors inspiration, styling tips, reno advice, home tours and DIY projects!

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