DiscoverObject: stories of design and craft
Object: stories of design and craft

Object: stories of design and craft

Author: Australian Design Centre

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Contemporary design and craft in Australia.
Season 3 goes behind the scenes of the 2023 MAKE Award, Australia's newest and richest national award celebrating innovation in contemporary craft and design. Meet the winner Vipoo Srivilasa; and finalists High Tea with Mrs Woo; Julie Blyfield, Csongvay Blackwood, and Johannes Kuhnen. Hear from MAKE Award judges Jason Smith, Hyeyoung Cho and Brian Parkes.

Season 2 is all about ceramics - production pottery, teaching and learning with clay, museum collections, personal collecting, working with galleries, and ceramics writing and photography. Hear from Ilona Topolcsanyi, Brett Stone, Jane Sawyer, Robyn Phelan and Eva Czernis-Ryl.

Season 1 explores the Masters of Craft - nationally and internationally acclaimed Australian craftspeople working in ceramics, jewellery, textiles and metal. Why does their work matter? How do they keep going? What’s their advice for makers now?

Hear from artists Prue Venables, Jeff Mincham, Lola Greeno, Liz Williamson, Les Blakebrough, Marian Hosking and Robert Baines, and go behind the scenes on the making of the 'Living Treasures' program with Brian Parkes.

Object: stories of design and craft is by the Australian Design Centre.
It's hosted by our CEO and Artistic Director Lisa Cahill.
Production by Jane Curtis, with production support by Alix Fiveash.
Sound engineering by John Jacobs.
21 Episodes
Host Lisa Cahill chats with master metalsmith Johannes Kuhnen. Johannes Kuhnen is one of the pioneers of anodised aluminium metalwork. In this episode, Johannes explains why he finds anodising annoying, and his design process.Hear from judges Jason Smith, Hyeyoung Cho and Brian Parkes on his MAKE Award entry, Remnant Green.Johannes Kuhnen is one of Australia's most well recognised silversmiths. Johannes' practice has remained at the forefront of innovation, in particular his pioneering use of anodised aluminium. A fascination with the colour options of the aluminium continue to provide inspiration for his work and have also inspired many others to explore such potential.GuestsJohannes KuhnenJason Smith, Director and CEO of Geelong Gallery, VictoriaHyeyoung CHO, Chair of the Korea Association of Art and Design, and expert panel member of the Loewe Foundation Craft PrizeBrian Parkes, CEO at JamFactory, Adelaide, South AustraliaCreditsObject is a podcast of the Australian Design Centre and is made on Gadigal Country in Sydney, Australia.It's hosted by CEO and Artistic Director Lisa Cahill and produced by Jane Curtis, in collaboration with Lisa Cahill. Sound Engineering is by John Jacobs.
Host Lisa Cahill chats with partners in life and work, Csilla Csongvay and Matt Blackwood. In this episode, Csilla and Matt share the inspirations behind their work, what it takes to enter an award, and how they made a single sculpture from 100 pieces of clay.Hear from judges Jason Smith, Hyeyoung Cho and Brian Parkes on their work, Walk the Line Version 7.GuestsCsilla CsongvayMatt BlackwoodJason Smith, Director and CEO of Geelong Gallery, VictoriaHyeyoung CHO, Chair of the Korea Association of Art and Design, and expert panel member of the Loewe Foundation Craft PrizeBrian Parkes, CEO at JamFactory, Adelaide, South AustraliaCreditsObject is a podcast of the Australian Design Centre and is made on Gadigal Country in Sydney, Australia.It's hosted by CEO and Artistic Director Lisa Cahill and produced by Jane Curtis, in collaboration with Lisa Cahill. Sound Engineering is by John Jacobs.
Host Lisa Cahill chats with contemporary jeweller Julie Blyfield. Hear how Julie's MAKE Award entry is inspired by love and loss. Julie Blyfield is a South Australian artist renowned for her work inspired by collected botanical specimens and forms. Using the traditional metalsmithing techniques of chasing and repoussé, Blyfield makes intricately textured pieces, which capture the essence of the Australian natural landscape.Award judges Jason Smith, Hyeyoung Cho and Brian Parkes share their thoughts on Julie’s work Memento Vivere (Remember to live).Episode photo by Grant Hancock.GuestsJulie Blyfield, contemporary jewellerJason Smith, Director and CEO of Geelong Gallery, VictoriaHyeyoung CHO, Chair of the Korea Association of Art and Design, and expert panel member of the Loewe Foundation Craft PrizeBrian Parkes, CEO at JamFactory, Adelaide, South AustraliaCreditsObject is a podcast of the Australian Design Centre and is made on Gadigal Country in Sydney, Australia.It's hosted by CEO and Artistic Director Lisa Cahill and produced by Jane Curtis, in collaboration with Lisa Cahill. Sound Engineering is by John Jacobs.
Meet clothing designers High Tea With Mrs Woo.Rowena, Angela and Juliana Foong are three sisters who run a clothing label that focuses on sustainability and ethical production and who collaborate on design, making, mending and more. In this episode, you'll hear comments from MAKE Award judges Jason Smith, Hyeyoung Cho and Brian Parkes. And find out, Who is Mrs Woo? What are the innovative ideas behind their work Resilience Coat? High Tea with Mrs Woo is a sustainable fashion practice, crafting clothes and accessories for modern thoughtful living. Their work features natural fibre fabrics, ethically made, through circular design.CreditsObject is a podcast of the Australian Design Centre and is made on Gadigal Country in Sydney, Australia.It's hosted by CEO and Artistic Director Lisa Cahill and produced by Jane Curtis, in collaboration with Lisa Cahill. Sound Engineering is by John Jacobs.
Meet the winner of the Inaugural MAKE Award, ceramic artist Vipoo Srivilasa.Vipoo tells us about the themes that inspire his work, the process of making the winning piece Diverse Dominion Deities, his strategic approach to the MAKE award, and Vipoo's ongoing charity project 'Clay For'.Hear comments from judges Jason Smith, Hyeyoung Cho and Brian Parkes on what made this sculpture a prize-winning work. About Vipoo SrivilasaMelbourne-based, Thai-born Australian artist Vipoo Srivilasa creates artwork that is positive, accessible, and beautiful. His practice primarily focuses on ceramics, though he also produces works on paper, mixed-media sculptures, bronze statues, and large-scale public art installations. He often incorporates food and interactive performance into his ceramic projects, creating a unique and immersive experience for viewers.GuestsVipoo Srivilasa, ceramic artistJason Smith, Director and CEO of Geelong Gallery VictoriaHyeyoung Cho, Chair of the Korea Association of Art and Design, and expert panel member of the Loewe Foundation Craft PrizeBrian Parkes, CEO at Jam Factory in Adelaide, South AustraliaCreditsObject is a podcast of the Australian Design Centre and is made on Gadigal Country in Sydney, Australia.It's hosted by CEO and Artistic Director Lisa Cahill and produced by Jane Curtis, in collaboration with Lisa Cahill. Sound Engineering is by John Jacobs.Image episode photo by Simon Strong.
Series 3 introduces the winner, four finalists and the judges of Australia’s newest and richest award for contemporary craft - the MAKE Award. This major new national award by us, the Australian Design Centre, celebrates innovation in contemporary craft and design.Over five episodes you’ll meet winner Vipoo Srivilasa and finalists the Foong Sisters (High Tea with Mrs Woo), Julie Blyfield, Csilla Csongvay and Matt Blackwood (Csongvay Blackwood), and Johannes Kuhnen. You’ll hear the stories behind their work, and reflections and comments from the MAKE Award judges.“An award can establish a career,” Johannes Kuhnen.Object is a podcast by the Australian Design Centre and is hosted its CEO and Artistic Director, Lisa Cahill. Produced by Jane Curtis and sound by John Jacobs.Produced on Gadigal and Wangal Country in Sydney, Australia.
Meet Powerhouse curator Eva Czernis-Ryl and hearThe skills of a museum curatorHow curators select and interpret objects What makes a work of ceramics suitable for a museum collection?The unique history of ceramics collected by the PowerhouseAnd hear ceramic artist and former editor of The Australian Journal of Ceramics Vicki Grima on setting up a ‘living bequest’ fund for ceramics.Eva Czernis-Ryl is an art and design historian and curator of Arts and Design at the Powerhouse in Sydney.Vicki Grima, OAM, was the editor of The Journal of Australian Ceramics and CEO of the Australian Ceramics Association from 2005 to February 2023. She’s also a practicing ceramic artist.Object is a podcast of the Australian Design Centre. We'd like to thank Visions of Australia, the Federal government’s regional exhibition touring program for funding support towards this podcast.Object is hosted by Lisa Cahill and produced by Jane Curtis, with production support from Alix Fiveash. Sound Engineering is by John Jacobs.
Meet ceramics artist and writer Robyn Phelan and hear:What makes a good piece of writing about visual art?How she wrote about a Damon Moon exhibitionHow can we get critique back into Australian arts commentary?How to use writing in your arts practice, andTips for new arts writers.  And, hear fine art photographer Greg Piper onWhat makes a good photograph of ceramics?How to get the narrative of your work across through a photo, andWhy you should have your work professionally photographed.Robyn Phelan is a writer, a ceramics artist and an educator. She writes regularly for The Australian Journal of Ceramics, and her other writing includes exhibition text and catalogues, reviews and articles.Robyn’s website and Instagram Piper is a fine art photographer and "passionate image maker to the arts community". His work includes artist portraits, exhibitions and publications. Greg's Instagram is hosted by the Australian Design Centre CEO and Artistic Director Lisa Cahill. It's produced by Jane Curtis with production support by Alix Fiveash. Sound engineering by John Jacobs. Thanks to Visions of Australia, the Federal government’s regional exhibition touring program for funding support towards this podcast.
What are the many ways to learn ceramics? How do you find your own sense of touch with clay?If you’re thinking about a hobby class or applying for a university or TAFE course, what’s good to know? Hear different approaches on teaching with clay, including from a Japanese production pottery, and a wishlist for the future of ceramics education in Australia. What’s on your list?GuestsJane Sawyer, founder and teacher at Slow Clay MelbourneJulie Bartholomew, former Head of Ceramics at ANU and ceramics artist
How do you start a ceramics collection? Tips on collecting for beginners, how to collect from galleries, how to make a collecting group and how to administer and document your collection.The guests are Brett Stone, artist, art dealer and founding director of Claypool communal pottery studios; Jane Sawyer, founder and teacher at Slow Clay Melbourne; and Jenna Price and John Kavanagh, ceramics collectors.Hosted by Lisa Cahill, CEO and Artistic Director of the Australian Design Centre.Produced by Jane Curtis with production support from Alix Fiveash. Sound engineering by John Jacobs.
Ilona Topolcsanyi makes bespoke tableware for some of Australia's most notable chefs. She’s even made plates that world leaders have eaten from, like Barack Obama, Angela Merkel and Xi JinPing.Hear how Ilona designs and makes by hand large orders of beautiful, hard-wearing and functional tableware. Learn how she works with chefs as a problem-solver, figuring out how to make bowls where the sauce sits perfectly.Ilona and her partner Colin Hopkins run their business Cone 11 in Naam, Melbourne. Their tableware has subtle surfaces that range from shimmering pearly whites to rich encrusted terracottas. Some of the restaurants Ilona has created work for include: Dan Hunter: Brae, Birregurra VictoriaJoel Bickford: Aria, Sydney NSW Josh Lopez: The Wolfe East Brisbane QLDSeth James: Wills Domain, Margaret River WAGuestsIlona Topolcsanyi Lopez is the chef and owner of The Wolfe East Brisbane, Queensland Hunter is the chef and owner of Brae, Birregurra, Victoria Full Show NotesRead the highlights and takeaways, and see photos of Ilona's work with Josh Lopez and Dan Hunter on the Show Notes page for this episode on the Australian Design Centre website.CreditsObject is hosted by Lisa Cahill, with production by Jane Curtis and sound engineering by John Jacobs. It's made with support from Visions of Australia regional touring program.
From production pottery to learning and teaching ceramics, museum collections and personal collecting - this season of Object is all about making with clay. Over five episodes you’ll meet Ilona Topolcsanyai, Brett Stone, Jane Sawyer, Robyn Phelan and Eva Czernis-Ryl.You’ll hear from other artists too, and their advice for makers.Object is a podcast by the Australian Design Centre. It’s hosted by Lisa Cahill, with production by Jane Curtis and sound engineering by John Jacobs.
In this bonus episode, you’ll meet one of the key people behind the original idea for the Living Treasures series of exhibitions - Brian Parkes. How did the idea of recognising Australia’s master craftspeople become a reality? Who chooses Living Treasures? How was the first Living Treasures exhibition made on a shoestring budget, maybe some shopping at IKEA?  How important are exhibitions like these to regional art galleries? How do audiences react? And hear about the two Living Treasures Lisa Cahill didn’t get to interview – the late glass artist Klaus Moje and South Australian glass artist Nick Mount. Brian is the CEO and Artistic Director of JamFactory, Adelaide’s leading craft and design centre, where he's been for over a decade. Before that, he was Associate Director of the Australian Design Centre 2000 - 2010 (when the Centre was called Object. Now you know where the podcast name came from!). Brian Parkes lives and works on Kaurna Country in Adelaide. Guests Steve Pozel was the former CEO and Artistic Director of the Australian Design Centre who developed and championed the idea for the Living Treasures series during his 16 year tenure with the organisation. He’s now an Innovation Strategist and Facilitator in mindful leadership. Bridget Guthrie is the director of Tamworth Regional Gallery in NSW. Show highlights and takeaways Inspiration from National Gallery of Australia Susan Cohn exhibition [1:47] In 2000, the National Gallery of Australia made a national touring exhibition of the work of Australian jeweller Susan Cohn, Techno Craft: The work of Susan Cohn 1980 – 2000. It toured to Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Hobart, Perth and Melbourne into 2001. Brian Parkes says it was the first time that a major institution had done a big touring exhibition of someone who came out of the crafts sector. The late Jim Logan, Assistant Curator of Australian Decorative Arts at the National Gallery of Australia, curated the exhibition and Brian Parkes worked with him during this time. "All the hallmarks of the Living Treasure series were borrowed from that exhibition, which Jim had always intended as an ongoing series of shows, celebrating the extraordinary wealth of talent in the kind of decorative arts scene in Australia, " Brian says. Who nominates and selects craftspeople to be Living Treasures? [5:30] First, a jury was appointed by the "key figures - curatorially, academically, theoretically", Brian say. Then, the nominations process lets Australian craft sector organisations, as well as individual practitioners, to nominate Australian artists to be a Living Treasure.  The criteria to be nominated as a Living Treasure [6:12] There are some specific...
Robert Baines

Robert Baines


With a career spanning five decades, Robert Baines is one of Australia’s leading gold and silver smiths.  Robert Baines makes intricately constructed jewellery and large-scale, sculptural, complex wire works that often combine gold and silver with plastic and powder-coated elements. Hear how Robert researched high Classical Greek gold jewellery and remade it using 2000 year old techniques, how colour takes on many meanings in his jewellery, and how a chance meeting in a gallery changed everything. Robert’s work can be found in all major public galleries, as well as internationally in significant museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The Australia Design Centre made Robert Baines a Living Treasure: Master of Australian Craft in 2010. Robert Baines lives and works on Wurundjeri Country in Melbourne. 
Les Blakebrough

Les Blakebrough


In a career spanning seven decades, Les Blakebrough has become one of Australia's most acclaimed and influential ceramic artists.The ceramics of Les Blakebrough range from earthy functional ware to more delicate forms, made with the Southern Ice Porcelain - a material described as having ‘the whiteness of snow and translucent of ice'. In fact, he used Southern Ice Porcelain to make Tasmania’s wedding gift to Mary Donaldson and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark.In this episode, you’ll hear about Les’ experiments in the early days, why he went from ceramics maker to porcelain producer, and how Australia’s first national craft association was founded.The Australia Design Centre made Les Blakebrough its very first Living Treasure: Master of Australian Craft in 2004. His Living Treasures exhibition toured nationally until 2007.Les Blakebrough lives on Dharawal Country in the Illawarra region of NSW.uestsGrace Cochrane AM is a writer, curator and historian.Ben Richardson is a ceramics artist and runs Ridgeline Pottery Tasmania. He studied under Les, taught alongside him and was a co-researcher on Southern Ice Porcelain.Anne Ferran is one of Australia’s leading photographic artists. Anne is also Les Blakebrough's partner.Show highlights and takeawaysStudying under the Australian 'masters’ of ceramics – Peter Rushforth and Mollie Douglas [5:30 mins]Les Blakebrough went to art school at East Sydney Technical College to study painting, in the 1950s. He says, "I wanted to be a painter and sadly, I was in love with the idea of being a painter. It didn't gel." Les made the fortuitous switch to ceramics, at a time when iconic teachers led the department. Peter Rushforth (1920–2015) was a master potter largely responsible for introducing ancient Japanese ceramic traditions to Australia. Mollie Douglas (1920 – 2011) was a founding member of the Potters' Society of New South Wales, along with Peter Rushforth.Early experiments with Col Levy [6:45 mins]Les met Col Levy at art school. Col had originally trained as a manual arts teacher, and studied pottery at East Sydney Technical College (now the National Art School) in Sydney in 1956. Les says, "There was a kind of chemistry that was involved that Col Levy introduced me to, and we had a collaboration going. We were desperately trying to make high temperature, stoneware and porcelain and Levy and I would sort of do these experiments, trying to make reduced glazes. And the kilns weren't set up to do it. "Inventing an Australian-made, exportable porcelain [11:00 mins]Through the 1970s and 1980s, Les felt the white clay he was using "never quite came up to the mark."He wanted a clay you could knead, throw well, and handle easily. Most of all, Les wanted it "very white. I wanted it to be whiter than
Liz Williamson

Liz Williamson


Liz Williamson is known as a ‘matriarch of Australian weaving’. Hear what Liz’s favourite ‘magical’ material is, how darning and repair informs her work, and how she works with weavers around the world.Liz Williamson is an internationally respected textile artist who specialises in hand-woven textiles.Sometimes wearable and sometimes for display, the texture of Liz’s work is distinctive. It’s woven flat, and the materials she uses create crushed, crinkled surfaces and three dimensional shapes like loops and sacks.Australia Design Centre made Liz Williamson a Living Treasure in 2007, and her Living Treasures exhibition toured nationally until 2011.Liz lives and works on Gadigal and Wongal country in inner west Sydney.GuestsIlka White is an artist whose practice spans textiles, teaching, cross-disciplinary collaboration and art-in-community. Waldman is a former curator at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and was the director of the Australia Council's Visual Arts and Craft board.Jon Goulder is an award winning, fourth generation furniture maker and is an Australian Design Honouree. jongoulder.comShow highlights and takeawaysHow long does it take to weave something? [3:50 mins]People often ask Liz Williamson how long it takes to weave something. She weaves panels that are about 1.2m long in two to four hours.Why fine worsted wool is 'magical' [4:40 mins]Fine worsted wool is material that Liz worked with a lot in the 980s and 1990s, to weave wraps and scarves. She calls it 'magical' because she says it can respond to different treatments. You can wash it, you can felt it, or you can combine it with materials that felt. The worsted wool doesn’t felt that much by itself but you combine it with other wool that does felt, creating textured surfaces.Australia's Indigenous fibre tradition is one of the most amazing in the world [6:25 mins]Liz feels very privileged to live in a country that has such a wonderful, rich fibre tradition, saying, "The Indigenous fibre art tradition is one of the most amazing in the world. It's been wonderful to see that tradition come to fore with artists representing Australia, internationally with Yvonne Koolmatrie.” Australian Indigenous weaving traditions have broadened our thinking around weaving, she says, to include many shapes and forms.Woven loops and sacks [7:35 mins]Liz's work includes three-dimensional structures like woven loops and sacks. "The woven loops came from a project sitting at the loom, trying to work out how I could explore this idea of protection. I was creating a three-dimensional structure," she explains. Some of the loops are made just with plain weave, with their shape and texture coming from how she's combined different materials.Experimentation with the material leading [7:50 mins]Liz...
Marian Hosking

Marian Hosking


Jeweller Marian Hosking makes silver brooches, necklaces and vessels that are translations of the Australian bush. Hear why Marian thinks that souvenirs are underrated; the reason she still makes brooches and how she co-founded the iconic Melbourne open access jewellery space, Workshop 3000.Marian Hosking is an award-winning artist, and is former Head of Jewellery at Charles Sturt University, The Riverina College of Advanced Education and Art Design and Architecture at Monash University.Marian Hosking collects, draws or takes photos of Australian plants and flowers to make silver objects like brooches, necklaces and vessels. She often oxidises and heats the silver to blacken it. Using techniques of drilling and sawpiercing, Marian's work is delicate but strong, detailing fragments of the Australian bush.The Australian Design Centre honoured Marian as a Living Treasure in 2007.Marian lives and works on the ancestral lands of the Boon Wurrung people, on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.GuestsKatie Scott is the Director of Gallery Funaki. San Cohn is the co-founder of Workshop 3000 and is one of Australia's finest jewellers and metalsmiths. She is an Australian Design Honouree and represented by Anna Schwartz Gallery.Show highlights and takeawaysThe Australian bush isn't all the same [4:04 mins]For Marian, the Australian Bush is never the same. She likes to draw attention to something you think you know, like an ordinary gum leaf, and isolate a single element or a particular quality.In the first lockdown, Marian thought there was no point in making [4:38 mins]When Melbourne and regional Victoria went into extended lockdowns in 2020, Marian thought, "There's no point in making anything because there's already too much of everything in the world. And making things is just a waste of time and space."She stopped making for a time, but kept up with other parts of her practice, like closely observing nature, sketching and taking photos of local plant and bird life.Swans got Marian making again [4:54 mins]Lockdown restricted movement to 5km from your home. Luckily for Marian, she could regularly visit the Tootgarook Swamp, a peat regenerating wetland on the Mornington Peninsula that's home to birds, animals and frogs."And I noticed the swans, the black swans. I've worked over a number of years with swans, in England and Australia, the black and the white. These swans and little baby cygnets were just so appealing." Marian has just finished a vessel depicting these swans and credits them for getting her making again.Rejecting 'sentimental' as a derogatory term [6:28 mins]"In fine art terms, being sentimental or a souvenir is often a derogatory term," Marian says. "Actually what I do is both souvenir and sentimental. And I really value both of those aspects of my making. I love the souvenir."She says another reason that jewellery is
Prue Venables

Prue Venables


Prue Venables is one of Australia’s most accomplished ceramics artist. Hear how Prue went from a career in science to pottery; how three tiny porcelain jugs changed everything for her; and her controversial advice for new makers.Prue Venables makes porcelain vessels - like jugs and beakers, ladles and colanders - that elevate humble domestic objects to exquisite works of art. They are smooth and elegant, with a minimal colour palette of white, metallic black and sometimes red.The Australian Design Centre honoured Prue as a Living Treasure in 2019.GuestsPrue Venables French, former Teacher and Coordinator of Ceramics, Arts Academy, University of Ballarat. He taught with Prue for many years. highlights and takeawaysThe foundation of me [10:32 mins]Prue's earlier study of music and science became the foundation of how she thinks and approaches her craft. "The thinking and the discipline, the asking questions and exploring things."Approach with an inquisitive mind [11:03 mins]Prue credits her curiosity to her science and music teachers, "people who were really inventive and exploratory thinkers....I watched what they did and what they said to me and it just built up a sort of way of being really. "Throwing multiple things at the same time [12:13 mins]Using a number of wheels at the same time is standard practice for Prue. She says that with porcelain, it's often actually better to make something on and let it sit and not move it. As soon as you move it in any way, you get this sort of ripple response in the body of the clay, and that could come out in the firing.Handmade tools [12:55 mins]Many of Prue's ceramics tools are made by her out of junk, as she puts it - old hacks saw blades ground down into make a little sharp knife or something to almost grate the clay. She says that when she can't find these handmade tools, she can't work. "It's like you become dependent on these little things."The most important technique for porcelain [16:26]Prue believes the most important technique for working with porcelain is that you have to listen to it because it'll tell you what it'll let you do. She says that what's needed with porcelain is "a sense of, that it's always a developing knowledge.That you start with the material. You have to really feel what the material wants to let you do, and then explore that. And gradually, gradually gradually move the edges and change the parameters as you go. In a way you have to respect what it's telling you."Visiting Takeshi Yasuda in the pottery workshops of Jingdezhen, China [18: 24 mins]Prue visited Jingdezhen on the insistence of Japanese potter and director of the pottery workshop there, Takeshi Yasuda. Prue describes how Takeshi used to say, "Why haven't you come? You should come. if you don't come soon, it'll be too late!"Prue describes it as amazing, seeing ceramic works that she couldn't believe possible like big tiles that have four meters by one meter wide or one and a half meters wide.An artist's path is not an easy path [20:49 mins]"The hardest thing is accepting it's something in yourself that needs that, and then just doing it."So many times I've met people who've said, Oh, I really want to do this. But everyone tells me that you can't make a living or you can't do this, or you shouldn't, or you should...
Lola Greeno

Lola Greeno


Lola Greeno is an award winning Tasmanian Aboriginal shell worker and artist. Lola uses maireener shells, sometimes called rainbow kelp shells to make shell necklaces. It's the oldest continuing cultural practice in Tasmania. Learn about the role of insects in making a traditional shell necklace, how Lola creates for kids as well as adults, and what she wants every Tasmanian Aboriginal woman to know.The Australian Design Centre recognised Lola Greeno as a Living Treasure: Master of Australian Craft in 2014. She lives and works on Palawa land in the north of Tasmania. Lola Greeno is an elder of the Truwana people from Cape Barren Island.GuestsLola Greeno and Goddard, Graphic Designer, Curator and Lecturer who curated Lola's Living Treasures exhibition Mulvaney, former Director of the Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery, where Lola's Living Treasures exhibition was exhibited. QVMAG later acquired the exhibition. highlights and takeawaysYa Pulingina [3:39 mins]Lola Greeno uses palawa kani language to greet Lisa Cahill. Ya Pulingina means hello, or welcome.Shell necklace making is unique to Tasmanian Aboriginal women. [4:50 mins]Shell necklace making is the oldest continuing cultural practice in Tasmania.The traditional necklace was threading the King Maireener shell, the biggest of the species of the Maireener in Tasmania. Lola refers to old images of the tribal men wearing shell necklaces, as well as photos of Fanny Cochrane Smith, the last surviving fluent speaker of any Tasmanian Aboriginal language.Back six generations [7:36 mins]Lola remembers her mother's grandmother making shell necklaces, and believes it went back about six generations. Lola learned from her own mother, how to go and pick the Maireeners from the seaweed the traditional way, and to 'rot out' and put them in jars outside, under a tree.Protecting Maireener shells [9:36 mins]Lola stresses the importance of not over-collecting the Maireener shells. She always leaves some there for it to re-breed, as they breed over a twelve month cycle that finishes at the end of April.Mother-daughter patterns [11:57 mins]Lola's first exhibition was with her mother, in a commerical gallery in Brisbane. She said it was the start of her becoming a maker. "Mum was very excited and she got me excited about us working together." The very first shells she made with her mother were 'mother-daughter patterns'.Rice, toothy, penguin and gull shells  [14:27 mins]When Tasmanian Aboriginal women started to use needles to make necklaces, they also experimented using diferent shells - such as the a...
Jeff Mincham

Jeff Mincham


Jeff Mincham AM is one of Australia's most prominent ceramic artists. Hear what it was like to witness the birth of the Australian Crafts Movement, how Jeff deals with success and failure, and his characteristically blunt advice to makers.Jeff is known for his large, coil built, earthenware vessels. On these vessels are his dramatic, painterly interpretations of the South Australian landscape - the patchwork fields of the Fleurieu Peninsula, the sand dune grasses of the Coorong and the leafy surrounds of the Adelaide Hills.With over forty years of professional practice, he was awarded an Order of Australia for his services to the visual arts. Jeff’s work is held in over one hundred permanent public collections including the National Gallery of Australia.As a master of Australian craft, Jeff was made a Living Treasure by Australian Design Centre in 2009, and his exhibition toured around Australia from 2009 to 2012. Jeff lives and works on the ancestral lands of the Peramangk and Kaurna people, in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia.GuestsJeff Mincham www.jeffmincham.comKylie Johnstone, who has worked with Jeff through Sabia Gallery in Sydney for fifteen years. Brown, ceramic artist and former Curator/Tour Coordinator of Jeff's Living Treasures exhibition highlights and takeawaysNo tractor for me. [4:50 mins]Jeff comes from five generations of farming in South Australia. He was the first to break the tradition.Agriculture. I understood it.  [7:50 mins]While Jeff never followed in his family’s footsteps, he sees his connection to agriculture as ongoing. After initially studying painting, he discovered ceramics and was overwhelmed. “It was blood and guts and real.”Craft would be your profession. [8:20 mins]The Australian Crafts Movement was underway when Jeff studied art and teaching. He describes how there was ‘no horizon’ and the accepted idea was that craft could be your profession.Artists don’t retire. [10:18 mins]People have often said to Jeff, “Jeff, are you retired?” And his answer to that is, artists don't retire. They just die.People keep changing their mind. [12: 27 mins]Jeff is firm about following your own core beliefs and path. He says that if you rely on people telling you what you should be doing, you're not going to last long because people keep changing their mind.When you get lost, basic skills are your compass. [15:17 mins]To recover from setbacks, Jeff returns to the basics. For him, it’s making Japanese tea bowls. “This is why that good, strong core of basic skills are important when you do get lost. They'll rescue you. They're the compass you can pick up and find your way again.Dammit, we’re fashionable again. Never be fashionable. [17:37 mins]Jeff has ridden the wave of ceramics being popular, and then for other mediums (hello, glass!) to take the limelight. Many ceramic artists gave up and only ‘’a core group of us remained.’ Sceptical of the current trendiness of ceramics, Jeff says, ‘’After the last time, I'm very cautious.’You contribute to your profession. [20:20 mins]“The growth and success of your profession and the success of others makes the field grow, and expands the opportunities for everybody.” This ethos saw Jeff take on management roles in many...