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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