The ultimate FiNK Jug Moment

Craft ACT has announced the release of a limited edition iconic F!NK jug to mark the 50th anniversary of one of the most innovative contemporary craft and design organisations in Australia.

Rachael Coghlan, CEO and Artistic Director of Craft ACT, knew that for Craft ACT’s 50th anniversary this year, we needed a F!NK jug.

“A golden anniversary for one of Australia’s cherished membership organisations for visual artists was definitely a F!NK Jug Moment! I like to think that when there is something really significant to celebrate, it’s a F!NK Jug Moment. Like a wedding, anniversary or special birthday with a zero involved.

Rachael reached out to Gretel Harrison (Director, F!NK) to suggest a limited edition jug which celebrated Craft ACT’s golden anniversary. Gretel, who has enjoyed a long association with Craft ACT and is a life member, said yes straight away and proposed a new design of one of the most iconic designs to emerge from the Canberra region.

The limited edition design – in gold, of course - pays homage to F!NK founder Robert Foster’s iconic Jug and also to the one-off handbag ‘Blue Ether’ he created in 2001. Bengt Cannon who works for FINK was able to mimic the reflective spots from Robert’s handbag to create the two-toned textural surface of this unique 50th anniversary jug. Bengt has individually hand surfaced finished each piece. Only 18 jugs will be produced and available for sale.

The limited-edition Craft ACT Golden Anniversary Jug is an elegant vessel with textured spots made from F!NK’s signature anodised aluminium. The bold design transforms a classic Canberran design in order to express Craft ACT’s reflective and rejuvenating 50th anniversary,” said Gretel Harrison, F!NK Director.

The F!NK Water Jug was the first F!NK product, originally commissioned in 1993 as a limited release functional vessel for an elegant new restaurant opening in Canberra at the time. The Jug was issued as the vanguard for Robert Foster’s then fledgling design company F!NK + Co., and to this day remains a signature piece.

"The F!NK jug is a symbol of community, endurance and innovation, and Craft ACT has decided to materialise our 50th anniversary through these values,” said Rachael Coghlan.

Robbie, a close friend, mentor and collaborator to many in the Canberra craft and design community, established F!NK + Co in 1993, with the aim of creating a design and manufacturing business that would support Australian designer-makers. In 1995, Robert was joined by Gretel Harrison and together they built the much-loved Australian company based in Queanbeyan. F!NK is renowned for its innovative creations and fine craftsmanship, producing world-class tableware, hollowware, jewellery and lighting.

Robbie was a long-time member of the Craft ACT community, first exhibiting in our galleries in 1998 in the group show Faultline, Canberra Sculpture ForumHe then went on to have many works in our annual members shows. Craft ACT held a 15 Year Retrospective exhibition for F!NK + Co in 2009 called Fostering Design. After Robbie was tragically killed in a car accident in 2016, Craft ACT recognised Robbie’s extraordinary achievements and contributions in the DESIGN Canberra signature exhibition Luminary: Remembering Robert Foster. Fifty unique hand-made works ranging from tea and coffee vessels, hollowware, containers and trays displayed beside archival documents from the family collection were displayed alongside Robbie’s illuminated ‘ossolites’ installation in the ActewAGL building. Acclaimed craft writer Grace Cochrane, the exhibition’s curator, remembers Robert Foster as “an example – a luminary example in every way – as a design, as a maker, as a mentor”.

Since then Craft ACT maintains a strong bond with F!NK through our relationship with Gretel who has spearheaded the company and built upon Robbie’s legacy. Last year, Craft ACT was pleased to host The FiNK Jug Projectwhere 15 creatives with a direct connection to Robbie and F!NK were invited to reimagine his iconic Jug design. This exhibition displayed F!NK’s long history and contribution to the Australian craft sector and how it continues to inspire makers and designers.

The F!NK Craft ACT golden anniversary jug represents how proud we are to be one of Australia’s longest continuous-running membership organisations in the visual arts. This collaboration with F!NK celebrates our close-knit but globally connected community and how it has nurtured and transformed artists’ practice for half a century,” said Rachael Coghlan.

$435. Craft ACT members receive 10% off their purchase.

Buy the jug online here.

Photos: Lean Timms