In a quiet suburban corner of Canberra, two young emerging artists / makers are forging a new path. Abbey Jamieson and Daniel Venables have created their own home studio to pursue their practices.
We shared time and tea with Abbey, a ceramicist, as she built one of her signature cups - a popular product at Shop POP. Abbey explained how the product was conceptualised during her time at the ANU School of Art + Design.
The Comfort Cups series are all hand built by Abbey using a pinching method. Built by hand and intended for the hand, the beautiful soft curves of the cup are all different and fit perfectly into the hand. Each cup has ‘the mark of the maker’ through the process of being pinched into form. This individuality is extended and pronounced through the firing process. The atmospheric process of a soda firing reveals different natural qualities in the clay body of the cup and draws from the atmosphere around the object at the time of firing. As the clay reacts with the glaze and atmosphere, natural colours and marks emerge leaving the cup with an individual story.
These objects are as functional as they are sculptural.
Abbey’s main intention is to encourage the user of the object to take a moment of calm. The tactility of the cup paired with the accompanying heat pack or pebble worry stone base encourages thoughtfulness and mindfulness. Interacting with the experience evokes feelings as you focus on the moment you are in; the surface of the cup you are holding, the scent of the beverage and the process of resting the cup down within its base.
It is a whole experience.
While Abbey showed us how she forms these cups, we sipped tea from some of the original comforts cups she made at art school.
How long have you been making ceramics for?
My first experience with clay was when I was 12 at a Canberra Potters school holiday class. I enjoyed it so much that I continued weekend classes till I was 17 and then started at the ANU in 2013.
Why is local shopping important to you?
I think it’s a way that we can build our community and develop connections with people, shops or brands.
What is your favourite part about being in the studio?
When I’m in the studio I often lose track of time and get lost in the making process. I also really like singing/dancing/tapping around the studio while I make. It probably looks and sounds a bit silly for people passing by - oh well! Haha!
How do you get into a state of “flow”?
Music helps me to get going but if I need help initially I clean the studio (fresh space, fresh mind). Oh and preparing clay! Wedging the clay is almost like a ritual before any making starts and it helps to get my mind in the right place.
What is your favourite spot in Canberra?
This is actually a difficult one for me! I don’t know if I really have a favourite place, however I do really enjoy sitting in my greenhouse with my plants. For me it’s less about where I am and more about who is with me.
What have you been binge watching?
I’m half way through season 7 of Arrow on Netflix. It has been my guilty pleasure during isolation! Dan and I have also just finished season 14 of Supernatural - oh yes we did. Haha!
After we had a chat, Abbey stamped her cup with her signature and we had a turn at hand building our own creations..... It definitely was not as easy as Abbey made it look.
We think we should stick to taking photos of good people doing good things and writing blogs…