MAKERS GALLERY BLOG

16/12/2021

December 2021 Gift Guide

By Makers Gallery.

We can’t believe it’s that time already.

2021 flew by and we hope that it brought you some good moments, as it did us. While it’s encouraging to see some light at the end of the tunnel with borders opening, the reality is in 2021, many of us fell upon hard times and are still feeling the effects of that. Makers Gallery is genuinely all about support, passion and community, so reach out if there’s something you feel we can help with. It could be anything from mentoring to firing, Tony’s photography service for work you hope to sell, exhibiting, education or simply a quiet coffee at Makers Gallery, in-house immersed in ceramics or in the sun of the gallery garden.

We want to help you send off 2021 with at the very least, a great moment of giving in the holiday season, so we’ve put together our biggest gift guide yet, designed to cater for all budgets and interests. We’re also giving away a gift with every buy in December; a repurposed chandelier ornament. We’re giving these away until the box is empty and they’re absolutely beautiful. If you’d like to see what they look like, head to the Makers Gallery Instagram and watch the reel we posted on December 9.

Also keep in mind that if it’s too hard to choose a gift from the list of things below, we offer gift cards as an option (message Makers Gallery’s social media or call 0417 886 185 to arrange this).

Happy giving! Don’t forget to treat yourself to something special as well this holiday season.

$25 and under

They’re A Coffee Lover

We’re excited to offer this gorgeous coffee (and tea) scoop by Lucy Be. Suited to most budgets, this cute little gift would be a great stocking stuffer. We can also make it a bigger affair with biccies added on request or coffee beans…just let Stephanie know (0417 886 185). We have many friendly coffee people in our lives… Katie and Mark of Black Sheep Coffee Woolloongabba, the crew at Shambhala Espresso Wooloowin and Sacha of Reuben Hills Surry Hills (who fires at the gallery).

Price: $22.

Where from? Makers Gallery, Clayfield. Open as a one-stop-shop for gifts by appointment. We also offer delivery (free personal delivery from our hands to yours in Metro Brisbane). The above scoop from Lucy Be, as well as a teapot with a West Australian Jarrah wooden handle are available to buy on the online store.

Read our introductory interview with Lucy Be on our previous blog post.

They’re A Bookworm

Did you know Makers Gallery is a stockist of The Journal of Australian Ceramics? We currently have 11 copies of Vol 60 NO 3 and stacks of back issues for you or your giftee’s reading pleasure. What’s better than a moment of quiet in the holiday period with a good read and a cup of coffee?

Throughout the year of 2021, we offered a free back issue with purchases off our online store.  Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming promotions on our Instagram (or DM and ask nicely…something could be arranged…minimum purchase $50).

Price: $20.

Where from? The Journal of Australian Ceramics can be purchased in-house at Makers Gallery.

$25 to $50

They Love Gold

Super Christmassy! Thrown and handbuilt stoneware with gold lustre by Rachel Cramer.

Price: $30 for the small vase and $40 for the cup.

Where from? Makers Gallery on-site and online.

They’re Bold

Daniel Garretson’s amber plates simply cannot be ignored. Load them with treats on Christmas Day and if you’re looking for a set, add the amber mug, jar and striped serving plate to your cart.

Price: $30.

Where? Makers Gallery on-site and online. We won’t blame you if you can’t just choose one. Ask about our pay as you go system which could see you building your dream collection for less than the cost of a pizza a week.

They’re A Foodie

Woodfired bowls, Kiseto cups, Kiseto bowls, pears (yes…pears!), a bean, an Oribe bowl, vases, mugs and cups; Yoshi Takahashi has it all.

Price: Cups with linework $45, Kiseto cup $40 and Oribe bowl $50.

Where? Check out the three pages of foodie heaven from Yoshi Takahashi on our online store. There’s something for everyone!

$50 to $90

They’re A Tea Drinker

We have all things tea on our online store. There are boundless options for last-minute gifting, which you’re welcome to pick-up by appointment from the gallery or have us personally deliver (Metro Brisbane). We’ll even add tea and chocolate on request and can post gifts with a card direct to your person if need be. Picture the lovely things below with tea and a good book on Boxing Day… bliss!

Above: John Ullinger mugs and teacups (thrown and hand decorated).

Price: Lidded teacups $50, mugs $80.

Below: John James

John James spouted bowl, jar and milk jug.

Price: Spouted bowl $70, jar $80 and jug $80.

They Love Beach Holidays

While you can’t have a holiday in the Maldives just yet, you can still connect with the urge and surge of the coastal fringe with the work of Lyn Bates and Megan Puls.

Lyn Bates ceramic with wire coral and found objects #2042. Bring the coast to you with this lovely piece.

Price: $70.

Lyn Bates ceramic with wire coral and found objects #2041. A very special gift for Christmas, bound to be a cherished addition to any home. Alternatively, a lovely Easter Basket for next year (it’ll come around quickly)! Lyn Bates is currently showing at Makers Gallery. Get in touch to set up a time to see her incredible work in the flesh.

Price: $80.

Megan Puls ceramic salad serving utensils. Great for summer get-togethers.

Price: $45.

Megan Puls serving dish.

Price: $90.

They’re Baking The Christmas Ham

It’s a big responsibility. Thank that special person in your life for all they do with these striking coil-built black clay condiment bowls from Linda Leftwich. The bowls have a liquid crystal exterior and are dishwasher safe. Perfect for seeded mustard, sugar, cloves, star anise, cardamom, salt and pepper.

Price: $70.

Where from? Makers Gallery. You can explore our collection from Linda Leftwich online or reserve a time with Stephanie to experience (and lovingly hold) the pieces in the gallery.

They’re Hosting Lunch This Year

John James bowl for nuts and chocolates.

Price: $90.

John James wood fired bowl. Speaks for itself. Picture this on the table for Christmas Dinner.

Price: $70.

$100 to $200

They Love Nature

Tim Christensen’s sgraffito on porcelain works. There’s also a Galapagos Islands Whiskey Set available ($550).

Price: $150 for ‘Shoal’ and ‘Squids’.

James Murfet uses wild clay and glaze materials for his vases. Gift a vase this year with a sprig of something or some flowers.

Do you know someone having a wedding next year? They serve as wonderful centrepieces for special occasions.

Price: $150.

You’ll Have A Drink With Them On Christmas Day

Suvira McDonald set of four sake cups. Ideal for sharing a summer sake in the garden (or in the air conditioning).

Price: $180.

Where from? Makers Gallery on-site and online.

They’re Creative

Give the great gift of knowledge.

Stephanie has a schedule of classes and workshops in mind for next year (2022). This Christmas, organise credit with Stephanie for a future session and put the good news on a card.  You can pop it in the stocking of your loved one, or perhaps on the workstation of a friend or workmate. It’s a truly unique and useful gift for someone in your life or could even be a gift for yourself that keeps on giving. We’ll supply the tools and the know-how and in years ahead, you could be the Maker gifting your own handmade presents.

Meet new people at a Summer Series workshop or make a bowl one-on-one by booking a private session. The experiences offered are varied and can be tailored to you and your giftee, or credit can be given if you don’t yet know which class will suit. Get in touch with Stephanie on 0417 886 185 to discuss the right fit for you or the adventurous person in your life that loves to learn.  

Past workshops have included clay classes for adults of all levels, children’s clay classes, found-plastic jewellery-making, object photography, resin jewellery-making, embroidery on paper, making mobiles, collage cards and porcelain jewellery-making.

There’s more workshops on the horizon for different kinds of ‘making’, so get in touch with Stephanie via phone, or DM Makers Gallery’s social media to find out what could be coming in 2022.  

Please let us know what you think of our guide.

As for delivery of the above, it’s from our hands to yours. Makers Gallery offers a pick-up option or personal free delivery in Metro Brisbane. Further afield, we’ll just charge enough to cover transport costs. Don’t fret if you’re across a border or across an ocean: we post anywhere! Order off the online store and we’ll mail your item on or by the next business day.

We’ll be open by appointment at 53 Jackson Street, Clayfield in Brisbane over the next week for your Christmas shopping needs and for viewings of Lyn Bates’ breathtaking solo show 12 Degrees. Call or text 0417 886 185 to organise a time with Stephanie or DM the Makers Gallery Instagram.

Wishing you a safe and pleasant December and a Happy New Year. Love from,

Makers Gallery

Blog post not sponsored.

07/12/2021

Introducing Lucy Be

Product photography by Tony Webdale (in-house photographer and all-things-website at Makers Gallery).

Did you see Lucy Be’s work on Makers Gallery’s socials August this year? This is the first time Lucy Be’s nostalgic and whimsical pieces have been housed at Makers Gallery. It was an Instagram discovery…love at first sight between @lucy_be.ceramics and @makersgalleryaustralia. Many of the pieces didn’t stay in-house for long, with most of them selling quickly and going to new homes. Check the online store to see what’s still in stock. At the last headcount, two lovely pieces were still available.

lucy be mug

Introducing Lucy Be. 

Occupations: 

Full time potter, and pottery teacher. Currently I am teaching beginners and intermediate courses and a few glaze workshops every now and then.

Where did you grow up? 

I grew up mostly in Cape Town, South Africa, but have moved between SA, the UK and Australia for most of my life.

Where has ceramics taken you? 

Everywhere. I studied Ceramic Design (BFA, Hons) in London, and then went on to assist many potters in England, South Africa and Italy. I eventually landed up in an apprenticeship back in the UK.
During that time I was introduced to many different approaches to clay and that has been a defining factor in how I make pots.

Where are you based now? Why there? 

I am currently in the Northern Rivers, Australia. My family have lived here for a while and I moved out here in early 2020 (the same day that Covid hit) to set up my first solo studio.

How long have you been in practice? 

Since I was 21, so 8 years.

What area do you specialise in? What materials are your favourite to work with? 

I like to make functional tableware because bringing the pots into my everyday is where I appreciate and enjoy them the most. I work with a stoneware body and love adding elements of wood or wire to the finished pieces. I like how these additions allude to a sense of timelessness in an object.

lucy be tea/coffee scoop

From where do you draw inspiration? 

When I was a child, I used to build doll houses out of cardboard and empty toilet rolls. I would carefully curate these scenes in which my dolls would enjoy a tea party or a social gathering. I would become completely immersed and transferred to the magical realm of play. When I approach my pots, it often stems from the same place. Through making sets of objects which accompany one another and curate the experience, I feel that excitement all over again.
Over the last couple of years I have started to draw inspiration from looking at objects which belonged to a different period and were often not made from ceramic. Perhaps an enamel kettle, or a silver tea set. I appreciate the rich history within these and enjoy re-interpreting them into my own versions.

What/who has played an important part in your journey? 

Having the opportunity to learn from a varied group of potters has been invaluable. Certainly Sabine Nemet and Nic Collins whom I apprenticed with had a long lasting impact. They taught me how to become a potter, in every sense of it.
Being a studio technician taught me about the everyday management of a studio, as well as teaching and fostering community.

What do you enjoy most about working as a Maker? 

Bringing ideas to life. How it has taught me about process, and how not everything works the first time round. I have learnt patience and persistence.

teapot stone and iron with Jarrah handle

Do you have a particular goal you’d like to achieve in the next couple of years? 

Yes, many. I am planning to build a soda kiln, potentially fired with wood. I learnt all about wood firing and specifically soda firing during my apprenticeship.
I am also undertaking a bit of research into microcrystalline glazes and experimenting with downfiring, so let’s see where that goes.
In terms of pots, I am currently making large elaborate tea sets inspired by the 18th century silver versions. More info on this to come soon, I like to keep ideas close to my chest until I feel confident enough to share them.
Looking further into the future, I am applying to do my Masters program in order to enrich my pottery, but also to teach at University level.

Why are you excited to be showing at Makers Gallery for the first time? 

I have long admired the Gallery for the standard of pots which are shown. It is an incredible opportunity for me to sit alongside particular makers whom I have looked up to for many years.
As at the time of this blog being published, two pieces are still available on the online store: a wheel-thrown teapot with slab-constructed details (stone and iron added to the clay to create a varied surface, and wooden handle made from West Australian Jarrah) and a tea/coffee scoop, slab constructed with the addition of high temperature wire (stone and iron added to the clay as with the teapot). View Lucy Be on the online store and follow Makers Gallery on Instagram for updates.
Makers Gallery provides free delivery in Metro Brisbane, postage anywhere and a pay as you go system.
If you’ve bought work from us, please get in touch with pictures. We love to check-in beyond the sold sticker and share pictures of works in their new environment, with anecdotes on how the journey is going.

02/07/2021

Archive: Ceramic Artist Cathy Keys

First published 12 October 2016.

Cathy Keys coiled dark stoneware

Ring 2 $250 available for purchase on the Makers store, Page 2
The focus show for October 2016 at Makers Gallery was Cathy Keys’ Sea Shells. The works are thoughtful, beautiful and sentimental: the collection inspired by Keys’ love of the complex geometries of worn and broken shell fragments on the sands of South East Queensland.
We caught up with Cathy to talk about her practice.

Cathy Keys shell

What do you enjoy most about working as a ceramic artist? 

Being able to pursue an idea and a form in a deep and slow way and using my hands to incrementally craft a beautiful thing from a cool, raw piece of clay.

What separates your work from the work of other ceramic artists? 

I coil.  I have developed a form of hand-building with clay that generates sculptural forms through the incremental layering and weaving of small clay coils. I design my surfaces so that the coils are retained and integral to the finished piece, enhancing and drawing attention to the lines made when these rolls of clay touch.

What are your favourite materials to work with and why? 

I prefer a heavily grogged clay—something with body.  I want a clay with a strong personality that can handle being pushed a little beyond its limits.
I do work with finer clay bodies, but my temperament and hands prefer a clay with some robustness and forgiveness. I also prefer quite simple oxides, utilising one or two raw materials plus water.

Why do you believe ceramics are eco-friendly?

I like the life cycle of ceramics—from the earth—back to the earth.

Cathy Keys shell

I’ve heard that you draw inspiration from landscapes where you have had significant experiences. Can you tell me more about this? 

I find great peace in natural and wildish environments and have places that have great personal meaning to me where I walk and return to regularly throughout a calendar year.  This walking is often solitary, and fundamental to my arts practice and well-being.
In terms of my arts practice, I have an informal process where I allow some days to connect with the place, the season and myself. Before long, something ‘speaks’ to me and without consciously meaning to, I sort of hone in on it—this could be a natural form, a quality of light, a type of tree. I then seek out examples of this phenomena and use silence, photography, journaling and drawing to make detailed observations.
I have an intellectual thread in my work and I will often come back from these trips fired up to do some research about the phenomena or an idea that is starting to germinate as a result of my experiences.
Back in my studio, I will also make design drawings.  As I am making with the wet clay, in the slow gentle process of hand-building, I mentally return to the place of inspiration, and when I have pulled it off, I understand my sculptures to be literally holding memory. I love being near my sculptures when I am not in those places because they immediately take me back there—a sort of short-hand time-travel.

How has working with Aboriginal communities influenced your work? 

Perhaps the biggest single influence of working in Aboriginal communities, aside from the privilege of meeting some extraordinary people and seeing some of the most beautiful desert landscapes in the world, was the drive to make time for my artistic expression. Rather than study material culture, I wanted to make it—to be an active creative agent in the recording of my own culture.
While doing research in remote desert communities of Central Australia in the mid to late 1990s, I was lucky enough to work alongside a number of extremely gifted Aboriginal women artists and I was inspired by the way they made time for their arts practice despite, often, extreme physical conditions with minimal resources and space and sometimes quite challenging social pressures on their time. I thought if they can do it, I can. So, I took my arts practice seriously, and here we are.

If you could take your practice anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Here. South East Queensland. Australia.  I am doing my practice in the best place in the world for me.

Why do you like having your work displayed in Makers Gallery?

I’ve had some time off and aside from having my work displayed in amongst some absolutely stunning ceramics by other Australian artists, Stephanie [Director of Makers Gallery] was fundamental to the launching of my ceramics practice. It seems right to be returning with Makers.

What’s the next step in your career?

I am working towards a major solo exhibition at Makers in October next year, so will be working on a large body of ceramics for that—but, I also have more recently been spending time drawing, so I am aiming to complement the sculptural works with some works on paper…..we’ll see!
Featured pieces:

Cathy Keys Coiled and Oxide washed clay wasp nest wall piece

Coiled Clay Wasp Nest Wall Piece $250 available here

Cathy Keys hand pinched and constructed bunya cone

Hand-pinched and Constructed Bunya Cone $430 available here

For show updates, like Makers Gallery on Facebook.

02/07/2021

Archive: Ceramic Artist Grant Hodges

First published 12 September 2016.

Grant Hodges mug

Mug $50 available for purchase on the Makers store
Check out Grant Hodges’ ceramics exhibition ALIVE AND STILL at Makers Gallery in Clayfield. The works in the exhibition—cups, pots and bowls—are gentle, unassuming and undeniably unforgettable.
Grant Hodges loves to work with clay. It’s like therapy for him. The pieces he makes, he makes for himself. Grant considers himself lucky not to have to make a living out of ceramics. Yet, he’d like to work with clay more often. He loves being a part of the clay community.
Grant has a unique approach. He doesn’t strategise…he doesn’t overthink. He dives right in, working spontaneously and intuitively.

What are your favourite materials to work with and why? 

Clay, wood and fire. The alchemy of transforming mud with fire into functional objects is a constant inspiration.

Where do you draw inspiration from? 

From the natural environment mostly, but also the clay itself.

Grant Hodges Vase with flowers

Wood Fire Vase $375 available for purchase on the Makers store

Why are you looking forward to having your work displayed in Makers Gallery? 

Steph [ceramic artist and Director of Makers Gallery] has always been a great supporter of my arts practice. Makers Gallery is a beautiful space and having the work so well documented by Tony [in-house photographer] is an added bonus.
Although I make the work for me, it is nice to get feedback and see what other people think.

What’s the next step in your career? Do you have a clear goal in mind? A dream project? 

I’m about to move my studio which involves dismantling and rebuilding large wood kilns. This is really daunting, but so exciting. I have been using the same kilns for over 12 years now. I’m keen to experiment with some new ideas.
Featured pieces:
Grant Hodges wood fire stoneware ash glaze thrown and distortedWood Fire Stoneware, Ash Glaze, Thrown and Distorted $450 available here

Grant Hodges wood fire vase

Wood Fired vase $195 available here

Online store images by Tony Webdale.

ALIVE AND STILL ran until the end of September 2016 at Makers Gallery. Grant also gave a talk and answered questions about his work and practice Sunday 18 September 2016. 

02/12/2020

December 2020 Gift Guide for Makers

By Makers Gallery.

It’s hard to believe it’s already Christmas time. 2020 certainly threw a spanner in the works, forcing us to operate differently and try things we perhaps wouldn’t have done otherwise. We ran a series of online and onsite small-scale solo exhibitions as part of Interim Conversations, unfortunately without our beloved opening event nights, but we have our fingers crossed for them to return in the coming years. We’ve housed a huge collection of incredible work, all with different stories and personalities, most recently from Moraig McKenna, Ever Ceramics (Jules C), Daniel Garretson, John James, Avi Amesbury, Yoshi Takahashi, Cathy Keys, Joanne Braddy, Russell French, Megan Puls, Julian King Salter and Roshni Senapati. With times being tough and as we’ve had to limit visiting capacity, we still have many works from these artists sitting in the gallery waiting for new homes this Christmas. We’d really appreciate it if you could take a moment to have a look at our online store.

You may have noticed that this year we shifted our focus to operating online. We hope you love the look of our website and the gallery’s professional photography by Tony Webdale. Did you know Tony is also the man behind our website?

Recently, we also ran a few of our postponed workshops when it was finally safe to do so and organised an exciting 2021 workshop schedule at Black Sheep Coffee for between February and June. For that person in your life who loves the gift of an experience, we can pre-arrange a spot. Message our social media or contact Stephanie 0417 886 185 to find the perfect workshop experience to gift this Christmas.

We also have gift cards which can be used across the entire range of work on our store.

As for the friends, colleagues, clients, neighbours, Secret Santas and family who like special things, please read on for our 2020 Christmas gift guide.

John James Treat Box

Ceramic Tray by John James

A sweet gift for under the tree paired with a selection of their favourite treats… or put it straight onto the Christmas table full of rum balls and chocolate biscuits.

Price: $40.

Where from? Makers Gallery, Clayfield. Open as a one-stop-shop for Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers every Wednesday in December leading up to Christmas between 10am and 3pm. Works from John James have been loaded onto the online store, so you can also buy the Treat Box here.

For the Nature-lover

Unique pieces inspired by nature made by Lyn Bates and Shannon Garson.

Price: Baskets by Lyn Bates (pictured above, left column) $120, bowls $50. Wheel-thrown porcelain bowls by Shannon Garson (right column) $70 – $90, piece with pouring lip $180.

Where from? On-site at Makers Gallery and online we have made separate pages for Shannon and Lyn.

Laura Pascoe Shots

One for you and one for your friend so you can enjoy a drink together. Could this be the grown-up version of a friendship bracelet?

Price: $75 for the pair.

Where from? Makers Gallery on-site and online.

Stocking Stuffers

There’s a big drawer of wearable gifts for you to dive into at Makers Gallery.

Prices vary.

Where? These gifts are best visited in-house at Makers Gallery or you can contact Stephanie on 0417 886 185 or info@makersgalleryaustralia.com to discuss your options.

Daniel Garretson Amber Jug

Big amber and black jug

We envision this jug full of Mango Daiquiri on a summer evening (who wants Stephanie’s recipe?) or bearing a generous serve of brandy custard for Christmas pudding.

Price: $80.

Where? Makers Gallery and online. Daniel Garretson’s striking pieces start from $30.

Daniel Garretson Teapot Mug and Plates

For the Teacher or Nurse

A mug by John James. A vessel for strong coffee that will get them through to midnight and beyond.

Price: $80.

Where from? Makers Gallery on-site and online.

Suvira McDonald Wood fired Bowl

It’s like staring into the universe with dinner.

Price: $75.

Where? On-site at Makers Gallery and online here.

Porcelain Tableware by Avi Amesbury

Saucers with black and white slip and sgraffito decoration. Who wouldn’t love to get these for Christmas?

If you’re overseas buying for an Australian friend and you’ve missed your mail date, let us know. We can arrange for gifts to be delivered in time for Christmas and we’re more than happy to add tea and a personal note. Just say the word.

Price: $70.

Where from? Makers Gallery on-site and online. There are many lovely pieces in Avi Amesbury’s collection to choose from.

Very Special Gift Sets by Sandy Lockwood

porcelain teapot black stoneware base
woodfired saltglazed whiskey cups

For the whiskey, green tea or sake-drinkers in your life.

Price: Whiskey cups in a box $140 available here. Woodfired and saltglazed green tea set with black stoneware stand $580 here. Sake set $260 here.

Holiday Reading

We stock The Journal of Australian Ceramics. It’s great slipped into a stocking or under the tree paired with a handmade mug (made by a real person!) and a box of your loved one’s favourite tea.

We hope you like our gift ideas. If you’re shopping on our online store, you’re welcome to contact us about adding special gift wrap or a personal note to your order. We’ll also be open every Wednesday in December leading up to Christmas between 10am and 3pm if you’d like to drop in. The address is 53 Jackson Street, Clayfield in Brisbane. It’s quiet, there’s no shopping centre crowds and street parking is free. Please just let us know you’re coming 0417 886 185.

Happy holidays from the Makers team!

Blog post not sponsored.