Pop & Scott’s range of garden pots makes us smile. We don’t often say that about pots. Strong, vibrant colours and striking patterns: they immediately catch the eye. Their sturdy, modernist designs announce their presence without sliding into the garish. One range is inspired by Charlie Brown, whose zigzag T-shirt is one of the most-distinctive designs in comics. Another takes inspiration from the Aztecs. They’re colourful, but not too cute. There’s a sense of satisfaction you get from seeing a well-made item that’s designed to do a job; these pots have that, and much more. Despite their quality finish and careful detail, they’re handmade. The touch of personality this gives them brings them to life; above all else, they’re items we want to have around.
“It’s simplicity,” says Poppy Lane about what she works towards with her designs. “I love those mid-century modernist designs; they’re a classic, timeless look. It’s perfect harmony to me.” Using a high-quality exterior eggshell-base paint, she paints her hand-drawn designs directly on to the pots. “We use Porters Paints,” she says. “They age well and the paint is also porous, which is great for the plant inside.” We love that Lane considers the practical, as well as the aesthetic. We don’t want our yuccas suffocating.
Combined with a range of bold, bright colours inspired by the West Australian outback where Lane grew up, the results are the kind of eye-catching designs that were a must for Broadsheet when curating an area in collaboration with Stella Artois at Polo In The City. But for Lane, the idea isn’t to create pots that stand out; rather, it’s to come up with designs that complement their environment.
“I think it’s really important to keep it simple – maximum two colours – and keep everything quite neutral, because the main thing you’re trying to complement is the plant that lives in it. You don’t want heaps of colours and jarring shapes, you really want people to look at the organic plant that’s growing out of it.” We really appreciate that ethos because we agree that greenery is beautiful in its own right.
Our love for Pop & Scott ceramics goes way back, but these pots are just part of a range of furniture and homewares coming out of the Pop & Scott creative workshop Lane runs with her partner, joiner Scott Gibson. He handles the furniture side of things, putting together a range of larger items from sideboards and coffee tables, to couches made from recycled timbers. “We’ve just made a few dining tables out of beautiful Australian blackbutt that came out of the Myer building in Melbourne,” he says. “For a hundred years it was in there as part of their floors. It’s always good to know where the timber’s been most of its life.” The commitment to reusing timber with a history makes Pop & Scott’s furniture even more appealing to us.
The couple has always had a mutual creative streak binding them together. “We were always dreaming up adventurous schemes, right from when we first met,” says Lane. “The furniture really started when we got back from a trip to Mexico a few years ago and we got our first home together. When we started putting furniture in there were realised that we wanted it to be just a little bit different. So we decided to make it for ourselves, to make our home the way we wanted it.”
We don’t just love the final product, we’re fans of Lane’s process, too. Experimentation is at the heart of it – her working ritual revolves around trial and error, letting the pots themselves shape her designs as she works, allowing her work to evolve until they hit just the right note. “There is a little bit of a design process, but it’s also free-form. There are often things that don’t translate – we paint up a lot of pots when we’re working on a new range. Some just don’t look as good as the others.” We really trust Lane’s eye. There is no pot in the range that we wouldn’t be proud to display.
The pots have a touch of the playful about them – they’re sturdy, but not too serious. They’re the kind of household item it’s impossible not to love. Whether complementing a plant, or as an object on their own, they draw the eye in a way that’s stylish without being showy. We love that.
It’s no surprise that Lane and Gibson first started making items for the home they shared. We love their pots because they retain that warm, personal style – it makes their pots something special.