CHELA EDMUNDS, CERAMICIST
Tell me a little bit of your trajectory of how you came to be in Torquay.
I was living in America and I moved back to Australia, to North Melbourne. I wanted to start Takeawei as a ceramics practice then I went on to start my shop Guild of Objects. I’m from the Sunshine Coast in Brisbane wanted to move back there. After living in New York, I just wanted to have quiet and surf. But I knew that setting up a business would be easier if I was in a city like Melbourne and also, I had family here. I knew that once I had stockists, an online shop happening I could do it from anywhere. I could be doing it in nature and that would be just so nice. As soon as I opened the shop, I moved down here which was kind of like a compromise. It’s beautiful. It is cold though but that’s what I love about it now. It’s wild and it changes. It’s alive. Here in my studio I can be like, “oh it’s a great day to be in the studio.” on a sunny day and on a rainy day.
This studio is so gorgeous. Is this the best studio in this block?
Well, I used to have the best one which was the small one on the corner. The view was so beautiful you could see the animals coming to the dam and all the eagles flying above. The built this space in for me. They polished the tree beams and painted the floor pink for me. As soon as I moved into the first studio, I had just bought my third wheel and Stewart who runs the space came by and said, “You’re going to need a bigger space.” When I first moved into this space, I thought it was so big but since then I’ve expanded down the corridor.
Very inspiring seeing Takeawei grow. What’s next?
I’m opening a shop in Melbourne! I just got the call today approving the lease. It’s on Brunswick Street. Brooks will manage and Tessy King who does ceramics will be working there too.
Amazing! Do you have any help?
I actually just hired a guy called Ben to start help throwing pots in the last 3 months. He used to work at Bendigo pottery in so he’s a production potter. The great thing is he can look at my work and see that’s how I want it. Most people have their individual style so it’s hard to come by.
So how long have you been doing The Big Design Market for?
This would be my 4th! And I don’t do any other markets, so I build up stock through the whole year. It’s so good as well because you just set up once and 3 days in a row. I love that thing when you come back the 2nd day and you’re all set up and ready to go.
Any gifting recommendations for the holiday season?
I always think the mugs are quite popular. They always seem to be the one. There’re so many different kinds as well. What people always do that I love is they’ll pick it up and look at themselves holding it and then bring it to their lips, to be like what’s it’s going to be like…it’s like oh, you’re living the experience right now! It’s so cute!
I’m doing a lot more planters this year. One’s with bases and drainage, hanging ones and with new glazes…I’m so happy with the ones we’ve expanded into.
I had the bud vases last year and they were also really great gifts. I’ve got candles this year that are poured locally in Torquay with pure essential oils. I’ve got palo santo and mandarin and star anise… it smells like a chai latte. You can rinse it out and use it as a cup afterwards.
Meet Chela at The Big Design Market in Melbourne.
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