I have a thing for ceramics. There’s something about art which you can hold in your hands, knowing that the artist who lovingly made it, also did so with theirs. Unlike paintings, you can often buy a smaller, ‘entry level’ piece so start a collection. And it will give you so much joy, trust me! You don’t just look at ceramics you can hold them too. Some even have important jobs besides looking pretty, like displaying flowers! And you can never have too many beautiful little dishes (like the Carla Dinnage ones below) dotted around your home to hold things like earrings, hairbands, keys, you name it!
So, let me introduce you to six great ceramicists and their work; some I’ve loved for years and some who are recent and exciting discoveries!
Carla is Melbourne-based and has been on our radar for the longest time (with my love of gold, pink and green, that’s probably no surprise!). She studied fine art ceramics at RMIT in 1994. After travelling and a few different jobs in admin, marketing and merchandising, she married and had four kids in six years!
“Because I was so busy with the kids I really needed a creative outlet which led me back into my ceramics. I started to make a few small pieces and was driving out to Dandenong to get them fired. Friends and family started to then purchase my pieces so I knew there was a market out there,” she says.
“I purchased my first kiln and started my Instagram account. I then started to get a lot of wholesale inquiries. I now have two large kilns which run around the clock seven days a week and am stocked in over 40 stores Australia wide.”
Susan Christie is the woman behind Formantics. This was going to be an Australian roundup until we saw this New Zealander’s work (being represented over here by Greenhouse Interiors) and had to include it! She’s based in Auckland. I mean, wow.
“I get very excited about playing with colour and form, whilst exploring ideas of balance and symmetry,” Susan says.
She discovered clay in the last year of her fine arts degree in 2015. “Now I’m obsessed! I traded in my profession as a psychologist to pursue art and have finally found what makes my tail wag!”
MARLEY & LOCKYER
I’ve been following Ness Lockyer and her work for as long as I’ve been blogging, I’m sure!
Based in Tamar Valley, Tasmania, she makes small batch, handmade ceramics featuring her own hand drawn calligraphy and artwork. You could say she’s multi-talented!
Ness says she’s been an artist from as soon as she could hold a pencil. “But I was always scared to show my work to people, so I tucked it away for years. It wasn’t until I went on maternity leave with our first child, from a corporate job, that the need to create again became huge. I started my blog and making small things in ceramics (I hated ceramics at school, funnily enough), as well as screen printing my designs onto linen to sew into cushions. It just grew from there.”
Ness started doing architecture when she left school, but realised her love for interiors and homewares was what really lit her up. “I’m glad that’s how it happened as I couldn’t imagine doing anything else now.”
Madeline King is the creative force behind Earth Darlings, based on the Sunshine Coast in QLD. She makes all her pieces in her home studio.
“My style is warm, playful and honest,” she says.
Madeline majored in ceramics at university in the final year of a visual arts degree and became hooked!
“I have worked in various home studios since, between day jobs and then having children. Most recently, it’s been fulfilling to share my work more widely. “
ALICE BELL CERAMICS
Alice is based in Barwon Heads, VIC, and describes her work as bold and rustic stoneware.
“I am originally from Tasmania however our family are residing in Barwon Heads for a change of scenery while our three girls are young. I started ceramics in Tasmania as a six-week course which focussed on the three basic hand building techniques.
“I loved it and so kept practicing ceramics in my home studio in Launceston for many years, selling ceramics to friends and family.”
Karen Morton is Kaz Ceramics and she works from her purpose built studio on her property in Mount Eliza, overlooking the Moorooduc plains. “It’s surrounded by lush trees and wildlife and its proximity to my home makes it easy for late-night kiln loading and sneak-peeking when I’m working on new projects!”
Kaz (another we’ve been a fan of for years!) describes her work as organic and textural with pops of colour.
“I dabbled a little with ceramics when I was doing my painting degree in Ireland. It wasn’t until many years later when I became pregnant and had the most acute sense of smell and couldn’t stand the smell of oil paint, that I returned to working with clay and rediscovered my love for it. It’s such a beautiful natural material to work with; very rewarding and, like kids, definitely tests your patience.
“I was also working at a school at the time in the ceramics department and was introduced to Julia Green from Greenhouse Interiors who filled her car boot with my work and knocked on the door of Husk. I’ll never forget Julia calling me later that day to say they loved the pieces so much that they wanted to place a trial order for 300 of them. I nearly died!
“It’s been non-stop since that day really! I love what I do, spend a lot of hours in my studio and have such a great team of people around me. I consider myself very fortunate.”
I hope you enjoyed this roundup. Let us know who YOU love in the comments!
Kate Bussey says
It’s fabulous to see these amazing ceramic artists. I love to hear about their passion, how they started and about their work.
Lily Johnson says
Today’s ceramic artists are doing a fantastic job of bringing us closer to contemporary art. The above-mentioned ceramicists’ work was appealing to me. I’d also like to add that it would have been excellent if you had featured “Deborah Halpern,” a well-known Melbourne ceramic artist.