In July I decided to stop retailing my jewellery in my online store. I was finding that, although I enjoyed the making/selling process, it had started to become the centre of my creativity and a consumer of a large portion of my time. I felt that all the time and energy that I was spending on this particular aspect of my life was hindering my ability to explore other mediums. So after a lot of deliberation, I decided to sell off my remaining stock and focus on other things.
One of the opportunities I wanted to pursue more was artist swaps. I generally prefer to swap rather than purchase goods and services as it feels more personal. I get to connect with another person, we both get to receive something that has been made (or service that has been performed) with love, and I think that when something is traded (of given as a gift) it somehow holds more value to the receiver. I suspect that this has something to do with the lack of involvement of money, which, to me, seems to make any life experience just that little bit more enjoyable. I have a huge amount of respect and love for the work of other artists/designers/makers (I never quite know the right term to use!), and it gives me a lot of pleasure to see other creatives enjoying my own work. So, as is what often happens, as soon as I put it out there to the universe that I wanted to swap more, more great swapping opportunities presented themself.
One such opportunity was a trade of my work for some of the new work of Melbourne ceramicist Sophie Moran. I first encountered Sophie through instagram and, through this medium, quickly came to admire her work and process. Her pieces are refined, and she obviously appreciates a quiet aesthetic with lovely details. Like me, she uses both traditional and modern techniques to turn simple, natural materials into beautiful objects. An established ceramicist with 15 years of experience, Sophie sells her work in stores across Australia and teaches wheel throwing at a number of Melbourne organisations (including Cone 11 and Northcote Pottery). So it’s no surprise that, even when she tries new clays, forms and glazes, the resulting work is fantastic.
The main instruction that I gave Sophie with regards to our swap was NO CUPS! I have so many beautiful cups, mainly from a past swap with (and a number of purchases from) Sophie Harle. I also mentioned that I was rather partial to the faceted pieces that I had recently seen on her Instagram. The lovely little collection in the top images was what she sent me! The faceted lidded pot above is without a doubt my favourite of all of the pieces she sent me. I love its shape, the facets, the blue-grey glaze, the proportions of the pot, lid and lid handle to one another, the relationship between the glaze and facets, the way the inside of the lid and pot are glazed.
Every piece is lovely to hold, use and look at, and they all compliment each other in their form and finish. I am looking forward to using them every day.
If you want to see Sophie’s work, have a look at her website, instagram, or if you’re in Melbourne over the next week or so, check it out in person at Domestic Frontier (where you might even get a chance to meet Sophie).