I love my shop



Where is it? 1/110 Marine Parade, Kingscliff, New South Wales.

Describe Stone Studio in a sentence. A community pottery studio and café offering workshops, courses and studio access for people of any skill level looking to learn, create and connect.

What goes on there? On the weekends, we offer a variety of different pottery workshops. You can bring friends or come solo and make some new ones. We also offer six-week courses for beginners and intermedia­te students, and three days a week we open the studio up to our members so they can create their own work. We pour coffees all week long, so you’ll often find our regulars sitting outside having a catch-up.

What’s your personal connection to pottery? I began my journey with clay eight years ago. I was living in California and, to be honest, was going through a pretty rough time, struggling with anxiety and low self-confidence. Pottery was something I’d always been drawn to, and I’d especially wanted to try wheel-throwing, but it took me ages to take that first step towards learning something new. When I did, I learnt that ceramics, like any new skill, takes practice and perseveran­ce. And although you might be terrible at first, the more you persist, the better you’ll become. So I stuck with it, and have gained knowledge, skill, community, confidence and pride. I hope that through Stone we can help someone else find that, too.

Tell us about the space. The studio is in an old brick building, right across the street from the ocean. It has high ceilings and large windows with ocean views. In the afternoon, the winter sun streams through and fills the space with the most incredible natural light. The walls are lined with ceramics, there are plants on all the shelves, and most importantl­y, good tunes playing in the background. We want the studio to be warm and welcoming, so people can relax and get into a creative headspace.

With so many fragile pieces around, how often are there breakages? Surprising­ly, there are barely any! Our studio techs are highly skilled, and we’re very careful to treat each piece like it’s been made with our own two hands. Slow and steady, that’s the key. There’s no room for rushing in the world of ceramics.

What were the biggest challenges of setting up shop? Although I’ve worked in hospitalit­y, I had never run a coffee shop before, so there was a lot of learning there. It took a few months to find our rhythm in the studio, especially when it came to our firing schedule and reclaiming clay. We recycle and reuse every little bit of clay, but it’s definitely work to keep on top of the process.

Talk us through a typical day at Stone Studio – what do you get up to? The coffee crew gets in at 6am, serving coffee to our regulars. Zali, our studio hand, usually kicks off mid-morning, either unloading the kiln or glazing work from our weekend workshops. I’ll get to the studio mid-morning, too. I’ll have a coffee and catch up with the team, then, depending on the day, either start getting set up for a class or help out with the studio work.

What do you love so much about working with clay? I love its grounding nature and the creative exploratio­n that comes with it. It’s limitless. I’ve been working with clay for nearly 10 years now, and I still have so much to learn.

Any plans for the future? We want Stone Studio to be more than just a pottery studio. We want to use the space to celebrate creativity and craftsmans­hip as a whole through curated markets and collaborat­ive workshops with other local makers.

Where can we find out more? Online at stonestudi­ or on Instagram at @stonestudi­o.kingscliff.

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