LO­CAL HERO

Lind­sey Wher­rett

Australian House & Garden - - HG INSIDER -

In her adopted home of Ho­bart, this ar­chi­tect-turned-ce­ram­i­cist pulls ma­te­ri­als from the earth to fash­ion sim­ply beau­ti­ful things.

My child­hood was fairly happy and whole­some, filled with good home cook­ing and sim­ple fam­ily hol­i­days. I was born in Ed­in­burgh and grew up mostly in the coun­try­side of the Scot­tish High­lands, near In­ver­ness, as the mid­dle child of three. My mother was a nurse and my fa­ther an ac­coun­tant.

I chose to study ar­chi­tec­ture be­cause my strengths at school were art, sciences and maths and it seemed like a good com­bi­na­tion for that field. It turned out to be a great fit. I thor­oughly en­joyed the course and it laid a great foun­da­tion for my cur­rent path.

I met my hus­band while on an ex­change pro­gram at the Univer­sity of Launce­s­ton and that was it! We trav­elled around a lot and lived in Scot­land, Europe and Ja­pan for quite a few years, but have been set­tled here for about 12 years. Ar­chi­tec­ture pro­vided a won­der­ful de­sign ed­u­ca­tion, but the dis­con­nect be­tween the de­sign process and the and the mak­ing process frus­trated me. I find that most of the skills and the­ory can be ap­plied to ceram­ics, how­ever the scale is much more man­age­able, and I have my hands and mind on the pieces from in­cep­tion to cre­ation. The mind and body con­nec­tion in ceram­ics is strong. I find great sat­is­fac­tion in the phys­i­cal­ity of the work. When I am mak­ing there re­ally is noth­ing else in my mind; my fo­cus is all on my body and the ma­te­rial, though not in a con­scious or strain­ing way. I am nat­u­rally quite strong and have al­ways had good body aware­ness, so mak­ing ak­ing the larger pieces re­ally res­onates with me. I’d much rather be work­ing up a sweat than sit­ting at a com­puter. The only way to de­velop hand skills is through rep­e­ti­tion and prac­tice. Small pieces eces and table­ware lay y the foun­da­tions.

For each hand basin I make

I throw about 15kg of clay on the pot­tery wheel. When it is spin­ning around at top speed it is a beast to con­trol. The ini­tial throw­ing phase doesn’t take long, but that is only the first step. I gen­er­ally ask for about 12 weeks to com­plete an or­der. Large pieces are likely to crack or fail in some way, es­pe­cially if rushed, so the tor­toise def­i­nitely wins this race. There is a feel­ing in my gut that I trust to know when some­thing is as it should be. lind­sey­wher­rett.com

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