TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR JOURNEY INTO POTTERY?
I’m 40, I’m a Mum, wife and a creative. A few years ago I came to a crossroads where I needed some time to myself. After having children and a career in the design industry as a designer and art director for 20 years, I just needed to get my hands dirty again. As a kid I was good at art, that’s why I became a graphic designer – thinking it’s a job if you’re artistic. I had done pottery in school as well as through Tafe and uni, however never in the extent that I have been for the last two years. I thought I knew a lot about it, but then I had some master teachers and learn’t so much. I feel more creative now than I ever have.
YOU'VE HAD A SUCCESSFUL AND FULL CAREER IN THE WORLD OF DESIGN AND ART DIRECTION, WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT ALONG THE WAY?
So much! There are definitely more ways than one to solve a problem and success is not just about being happy with the end result but actually having a happy client and a product that sells. To thrive, it’s important to be in a team where leisure and individual opinions are welcomed. Some of the best results happen when your team are happy rather than under stress. Creative people aren’t 9 to 5 like office workers; freedom is important as well as a sense of humour and great mentors. Work hard, work late, always do more and be real.
TELL US ABOUT THE TRANSITION FROM FULL TIME WORK IN DESIGN TO POTTERY?
I’ve been in and out of freelance work since having kids. I went back to full-time work last year and missed the freedom of being a freelancer. I was getting more and more into pottery and joined the Illawarra Potters, where Beth Crawford taught me so much about throwing, building and if I really think about it, encouraged and helped me building my business to where it is. Some of my first big firings were done by Beth. She once spent the night in the studio to make sure it all went well. A true artist herself, she gives her knowledge freely to anyone interested enough. After meeting Lizzy from Wild Rumpus, I was invited to do my first workshop from home, which was nerve racking but so great for all the right reasons. The momentum was building. I’d go to a local store or cafe and the owners ask about ordering some of my pottery. As the popularity grew I started to say to my partner, maybe I can quit my job because this is working out financially. I could earn the same potting as designing, which is crazy! I have to get through so much clay, firing and hours making to do it but it’s possible and safe so that’s how I transitioned. The passion was also a big part of it.