As a child, my parents were passionate about community and our house was open to family, friends, neighbours and new acquaintances. The kitchen was the hub of all activity. We’d share in the food prep, squish ten people around a six-seater table and pass plates with fresh vegetables, grains, fish, meat and fruits. Sometimes the menu was excellent, at other time, it was simple sustenance but it wasn’t always the food that was the main attraction.
Pottery is historically intertwined with food and I enjoyed hearing the stories of who gave this plate, how Grammy bought that bowl while travelling in Hong Kong and especially seeing the special china come out. It was a significant moment when I turned ten and I was able to use those ornate, floral print dinner plates with the gold rimmed edges with the adults.
Nowadays I love making functional wares that people can use daily to enhance and enrich the eating and drinking experience. I especially enjoy it when my vessels are bought for loved ones and then with every use, that relationship is remembered and deepened. After studying ceramics at Homesglen TAFE (VIC), I set up my first studio in Toowong in 2013 and operated it for three years. I found it to be a joyful struggle to make pots every day. While I’m not running Servant Ceramics as a full-time business at the moment, I relish those in-between-life moments where I can sit at the wheel to throw and turn, decorate, glaze, fire and delight in the transformation of clay into useful ceramic wares.
Especially in this fast paced world, I’d like to think that even if you are eating or drinking alone, when you use a handmade vessel, that isn’t the case – you are in good company and the Maker is oh so happy to be sharing in that moment with you.
Rachel – designer and artisan maker of Servant Ceramics.