One of the things we love the most about our shop is working with creative locals and sharing their wares. We sat down for a cuppa and a chin wag to talk clay with some of our favourite local makers.
Kate McNamara @claydates / Esther Shelley @esthershelley / Madhavi Muncie @mudhavi / Haylie Nowicki @slow_down_ceramics
The mood was relaxed and warm as these four creatives shared their secrets and spoke about clay, being in flow and turning passions in to their real jobs.
It was like sitting in a circle of old friends, even though they had only met minutes before ... that's the loveliest thing about shared passions and real talk.
When asked why and how they put hands to clay originally, they each had their different reasons ... creative break from the mum job, experimentation, cathartic release and a family trade. When asked if they loved their time with clay hands, each of them were brimming ear to ear and overflowing with love and excitement. There is no doubt this ancient art form shares a sense of peace with those who play with it and reminds us to be in the moment.
Each ceramicist has their forte and favourite methods ...
Kate aka Clay dates is a hand builder through and through. She pinches pots, coils and occasionally slab rolls. Preferring to use mainly underglazes for graphic details and embracing the perfectly imperfect.
Esther Shelley has mastered the art of slip casting and making perfectly measured functional porcelain keep cups and her very own glazes.
Madhavi Munice aka Mudhavi ceramics is a wheel master who is known for her etched details and her pretty neutral and white palate.
Haylie of Slow Down Ceramics has dabbled with all methods but makes her vases using coiling. She creates big surfaces to which she hand paints beautifully detailed nude ladies.
One thing really stands out when chatting with these creatives ... they are all chuffed with their ceramic journey. Always learning and growing while mastering their craft - one piece at a time.
When asked on tips for beginners, the group collective view was to start where you are and use what you have.
- Don’t be shy to ask questions and do plenty of research.
- Grab a slab of clay, watch some youtube tutorials, get your hands dirty and start hand building.
- Do some research to find a local ceramic supply shop and kiln facilities.
- You will be surprised how happy people are to share tips of the trade.
- If you are really serious and want to wheel throw, then find your nearest Potters Association or local clay schools. They are popping up everywhere these days now that all things clay are back with a force.
We love clay and we especially love our makers.
Wabi sabi baby
Words by Twahn McMahon. Images by Sabine Bannard.