Today we continue our Meet The Maker series with a feature on the talented Australian ceramic artist, Sophie Moran.
Sophie has been refining her craft for the last 20 years, merging traditional and modern techniques of pottery production from her private studio in Collingwood, Melbourne.
We instantly fell in love with the Column Vases Sophie made for our Winter Wonderland collection. With the refinement of porcelain and the rawness of stoneware, we love the textural contrast and the subtle details and characteristics that make each vase both functional and a unique piece of art.
What lead to you to ceramics?
After completing a BA straight after high school I realised I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life so undertook a few short courses to fill in time while contemplating my future. One short course in ceramics and clay has been my master ever since.
What was the first piece you ever made?
I think the first piece I created was a wobbly, off-centre bowl with a terrible matt green glaze. I saw room for improvement.
What is the most rewarding part of the creative process for you?
The actual creation of a form on the wheel is where it all lies for me, being able to respond to the quirks and characteristics of that particular ball of clay and sensitively coax it into a shape of my choosing is quite a powerful sensation.
Who inspires you and how do you find inspiration?
My favourite potter is Lucie Rie for her independence of approach and style when many around her were towing the popular line, and for her ability to create timeless, quiet, unassuming pieces that are lauded globally today.
In my own work I find inspiration in the process itself. The act of making and repetition leads to a greater understanding of the formal qualities of a design. I usually find the best pieces I create are those that are initiated from a personal need or desire – they are pieces I would like to use and live with in my own home.
What is your biggest career highlight to date?
The simple fact that I have managed to sustain a full time, creative practise for nearly 20 years amazes me. It has not always been easy and there have been times when I have felt like giving up but with pure stubbornness, an inability to do anything else and the inescapable drive to create with my hands, I seem to have survived to date.
Any role models or mentors that have helped you get where you are? Any advice for creatives starting out?
I am surrounded by such a supportive community of friends, family and colleagues that it is impossible to single out any one person as a role model or mentor. I can, however, share two great pieces of advice that struck a chord with me. Firstly, your successes will be remembered and your failures forgotten so don’t be afraid to take risks. And secondly, make honest work that you love, not what you think others will love.
With the passage of time I have learnt that it pays to be flexible in my approach to my art practise, reassessing the way I run things from time to time, always questioning why I chose to do things the way I do and constantly observing.
How would you describe your signature style?
I hope my work has an air of refinement while still allowing the beautiful incidentals of the hand making process to show.
What is your favourite part of your home?
I love the kitchen. For me it’s the heart of the home, where meals are made and shared and everyone spends time together, chatting, laughing… and cradling beautiful, handmade ceramics of course.