"We are traditionally rather proud of ourselves for having slipped creative work in there between domestic chores and obligations," writer Toni Morrison has observed. "I'm not sure we deserve such big A-pluses for that."
Welcome to our new blog series, Living the Sweet Life, which will showcase the workspace of someone we think is creative or inspiring.
We are fascinated by the spaces that creative people work in. These studios, sheds or rooms have evolved and grown as the maker's process and passion has developed.
We hope taking a peek into these creative spaces inspires you to create one for yourself.
Like all good things, I came across Kaye Poulton's work through word of mouth. As soon as I saw her pieces I could immediately see them being served on the tables at The Sweet Meadow. Four years on, I still regularly work with Kaye to create custom plateware for the shop, as well as sell her pieces on our retail shelves.
I always look forward to visiting Kaye's studio just outside Mooroopna. I'm like a kid in a candy store! So much beauty inside (and out - Kaye's husband Derek is a green thumb with a huge food garden. I never leave without a handful of herbs, plant cuttings or fresh greens).
Kaye is one of the most calm people I have ever met, and I can only hope I absorb a little of that zen every time I use one of her pieces in my daily life.
What led you to start ceramics?
I have always loved creative expression, whether making work myself or going to galleries and viewing other works.
When I was quite young, I had access to clay and space in the form of my Dad's shed. I made small things, usually female figures in dresses and displayed them on the window ledges.
When I was a young married woman with two small children of my own, a good friend suggested that we attend a night class in pottery together. That was the beginning of my life long relationship with clay.
I love to work with my hands. Clay is tactile. It yields to the touch and is strong, yet responsive. It is an amazing material.
What inspires your work?
I am inspired by forms, colours and textures that I see in nature. The bend of a tree branch, the colours in rocks and leaves and textures of bark.
Sometimes I am driven to respond to an issue, something that I am concerned about - or just the emotions related to being a human.
It is great to think that someone will use or display a piece of my work. I like to think of my work going to a new home and being enjoyed by someone.
How do you start your day?
Almost every day I start with a half hour walk. I always feel better if I start the day this way. I begin a work day in the studio by wedging clay which helps me focus and is calming, even though it is relatively physical. I select the tools I need, choose some music and begin to throw on the potters’ wheel.
What’s your go-to when you are in a creative rut?
As in any job, there are always everyday chores to be done such as sorting tools and glazes, re-cycling clay and cleaning surfaces. Usually after a day spent in these activities, I am ready to make something. If that fails, I listen to music or spend some time in the garden. I am very fortunate in that I love what I do, so a creative rut does not occur often.
What would be your dream creative project?
I love my shed/studio and don’t mind being alone. However, it is always invigorating to spend time with other potters and share experiences. It would be wonderful to travel to a shared workshop in an interesting part of the world, take in the different land, people and stories and respond by creating new work. Perhaps even exhibit as well.