Rainbow lorikeets are blissfully chattering away amid the blossoms of a flowering tea tree as I arrive at the studio of North Coast ceramic artist, Claire Atkins. I am here to photograph a portfolio of new images for her arts business; Pinky and Maurice Contemporary Ceramics, and to get my fix on one of my favourite past times: sticky-beaking at a creative artist at work.
Claire has a dream artist’s studio – bathed in natural light, her spacious work area looks out onto lush, tropical gardens. There is an abundance of verdant green and a decidedly Japanese influence in this space which was custom-designed for Claire by builder husband, Luke Atkins after the family moved to the North Coast from Sydney’s Scotland Island several years ago. In keeping with the Japanese aesthetic, bamboo features as both ornamental and functional material throughout the garden and home
While outside is saturated with tropical colour, inside the studio is uncluttered and peaceful and it is here that Claire creates her signature porcelain slipware that blends both function and art, with delicate cups, bowls and slip cast bottles, pebble-shaped beads and button brooches.
“My teachers were all heavily influenced by Japanese ceramic tradition and they taught me to be true to the material and to search for beauty,” Claire says.
Looking around, there are signs of Claire at work on various stages of the ceramic production process: freshly bisqued wares await final firings; glaze recipes being developed on the chalk board and then there is Claire’s latest creative venture; screen printing new ink drawing designs onto ceramic blanks and fabric.
These latest designs have developed from Claire’s “Make Marks Daily” ritual, the results of which she has been posting daily on Instagram this year. I recommend a viewing; her “marks” are exceptional, ranging from ink sketches to sweet paintings on canvas.
Ok, time to sit back and imagine you can hear the gentle hum of a pottery wheel with those sweet parrots chattering away in the background…
I hope you enjoy these images as much as I did capturing them.
Gallery (click on any image below to open up the gallery)
Name: Claire Atkins
Makes: Claire is a multi-disciplinary artist working in ceramics, printmaking and fibre arts
Business: Pinky and Maurice Contemporary Ceramics
Studio: South Golden Beach, Northern NSW
Trained: COFA, Sydney
Facebook: Pinky and Maurice
Instagram: Pinky and Maurice
Website: (coming soon) www.pinkyandmaurice.com
Where to purchase:
- Brisbane at GOMA Design Markets 19 July
- Open Studio on 16 – 17 August. 10am-4pm. Workshops, demos and ceramics for sale.
- The Pinky and Maurice online store is coming this year
- People can always make an appointment to visit Claire in her studio, too.