Let’s talk ceramics - what sort of colours and shapes are you drawn to at the moment and why?
My ceramic muse is anything earthy and raw. I have found that my practice over the last 15 years has taken different directions depending on my inspiration. But this is really not jumping from one trend to another, but rather a growth and expansion to the next muse based on what I learned from the previous one. I feel I am almost being led along a creative path that is a little beyond my control – I suppose this is the creative urge, in essence. I have always been inspired to bring the natural world inside, creating awareness of our natural environment.
My Mullumbimby years are predominately porcelain-moulding small bowls and then applying delicate butterfly decals. I continue to be amazed at the number and variety of butterflies we have in the region. Just incredible. These have been very popular and continue to sell still – it seems like everyone loves a butterfly as much as I do!
In the last few years, I have moved to making tableware. I love hand-building and wheel-throwing so I mix up the techniques to create different ranges. I am so excited every morning and have nightmares each night that I will not live long enough to make every design I have in my mind’s eye!
Last November I travelled to Ubud Bali and did a two-week immersion with legend potter Hillary Kane at the Gaya Ceramic Centre. This was a new direction for me as the workshop was learning everything about making big pots…… and I mean BIG.
I love making big pots when I have the time to make for myself that’s what I like to make. I throw them on the wheel in sections and add large coils or large sections to get the height. It really is like playing for me.
What advice would you give someone wanting to start out in an artistic field - anything to know or prepare?
A number of my students have gone on from learning with me to producing their own ranges and selling locally whilst others have gone on to set up their own creative spaces. I encourage anyone to give it a go and live creatively. I do feel a bit like a proud Mum watching over my family! It can be daunting to trust yourself and your work, I try to give people confidence in themselves to trust in their creations and follow through with their ideas.
In an era where there are so much information and imagery thrust upon us at every moment, it can be easy to doubt yourself and your product. But I know that it is better to give it a red hot go than wonder “what if?” Big magic can happen if you allow it to.