Today we were lucky to meet up with Melbourne ceramicist, Claudia Lau aka CCLAUDD. We asked a few questions about her daily life, as she juggles her love for ceramics with work and studying a Bachelor of Communication Design at RMIT.
How long have you been doing what you do?
I developed an affinity for ceramics five years ago during high school and started pottery classes (with my dad) three years ago. Since then my ceramics practice has been constant in my life.
What’s your daily routine?
If I’m not at uni or at Wingnut & Co, I’m in my studio. I like to start the day with some form of physical movement, either swimming or yoga to get into a good rhythm before I start in the studio. Having a home studio means I am quite isolated and an unintentional homebody, so I often go out to the shops for a walk—and get my form of human interaction for the day. I stay in the studio until everyone is home or until I’ve run out of wheel batts then go upstairs and cook dinner with my boyfriend or have friends over. After dinner I’m usually working on assignments (or eating some form of dessert). At home you will most likely find my sister Kevin and I singing along to Disney songs and going through our wardrobes playing dress up. This is half my ideal routine — when the assignments hit, I don’t leave the studio or computer and I’m up to the early hours (and there is a lot more Disney singing happening)
How long have you lived in Melbourne?
I was born in Melbourne and I live and work from my home studio in Collingwood.
Do you have a mentor? What is it about them or their work that has helped you to be where you are today?
Rus Mann — Clear Design
I interned for Rus during first year at Uni. Aside from being one of the coolest dudes, he has a great perspective and knowledge of design and it feels like I am always learning or seeing things differently when we hang out. I was quite indecisive between ceramics and design practice a few years ago and it was with his encouragement and support, that I decided to push for ceramics as my main creative practice.
Leah is like the big sister I’ve always wanted. In the studio she has an incredible sense of ease and was so inspiring to work for. She is someone I have always admired it was very empowering to work for someone who is self employed and is doing what they are so so so passionate about! Leah has taught and helped me a lot with all those efficiencies and business things that make me so confused.
Asuka Mew and Anna Miller-Yeaman — Wingnut & Co
Asuka and Anna have a great energy (and cute <3) dynamic in the studio. Every time I go into the studio it gives me this refreshing sense of optimism and hit of inspiration to keep working hard and refining my skills. It’s a big step as a ceramicist to take your practice from a hobby to profession. Working and learning from Asuka and Anna, who are so open to sharing and teaching me new things is something very special. I have learnt so much about learning to throw in batches and noticing the small details in the way a piece functions. I feel really lucky to be a part of something they have created for themselves.
Who is your favourite artist?
- Beauty and the Beast — Araiana Grade, John Legend
- Passionfruit — Drake
- Journey — Jinsang
What are your plans for 2017?
I’ll be finishing my degree in June so I’ve got a lot of things planned! Learning to drive, turning 21, more Iyengar yoga practice, getting my website running, possibly welcoming a slab roller into my life and lots and lots of glaze testing. I’ve been planning to make larger thrown and coiled vessels as well as doing a collaboration of ikebana vessels and arrangements with my mum. I’m planning a residency in Jingdezhen, China (a traditional porcelain city) as well as going back to Tokyo at the end of the year to continue my Kintsugi learning with Showzi.
Claudia in her Collingwood studio
Claudia mixes two types of clay to make the perfect consistency.
Wedging clay together in her studio, explained as her morning workout ; )
Measuring and mapping her work
Claudia demonstrates trowing spouts for her large jugs
Photos by Elise Wilken