MC; What do you love the most about being a potter/ceramist/ clay worker?
JF: I love the idea of being able to make stuff that I can then use or I can watch other people enjoy and use. Mugs, cake stands, jugs...
MC: What inspires you ?
JF: Everything and anything. People, other potters, homes, magazines, fabrics, seasons, “oh would it not look lovely with a vase like this on that table?” type thoughts...or “oh imagine if I make a cake stand then bake this awesome cake that I just found a recipe for” type thoughts...
MC: Tell us about the processes involved in producing your work ?
JF :I mostly work in Stoneware clay. Most things are made on the wheel. From time to time I get into using my slabroller...
I use an electric kiln and fire to +1280c.
I make all my glazes myself. At the moment I have a totally weak spot for playing with Japanese tissue. I don’t seem to be able to stop...
MC: Describe your studio
JF: I rent a studio space in Healesville, Yarra Valley. Its very much looking like a shed. It’s located at the same site as HealesvilleGlassblowing studio and acrylic painter. This means that there are people that can come for visits and buy from my shed.
I have a small (read teeny tiny) throwing “hut”. It has lovely view and I can’t hardly move once I am in... this is where I have my wheel and where my pots dry.
Outside of this space I have my 2 kilns, bench space, my pug mill, slab roller and glazing area.
MC: How do you market and sell your work?
JF: Well this is the difficult area isn’t it?
I share a gallery space (MUD GLASS METAL) at the moment on the main street of Healesville where I live.
We all share the minding and we can all add as much of our stuff as we want.
I also try and set up some sort of online shop at the moment... I also from time to time wholesale. I think for the future I will try and participate in a few more markets.
MC: How did you find Mud Colony?And what impact ,( if any), has it had on yourblogging?
JF: Through my lovely friend Adriana!
I really enjoy checking out what other potters are up to.
MC: Are there any clay blogs that you ALWAYS look at ,and why?
JF:There is a Swedish one that I really enjoy looking at. She takes wonderful photos and is a fun and witty person with a great sense of humour. http://fabkeramik.blogspot.com.au/
I also really enjoy Whitney Smith pottery and her blog. Great sense of humour!!
MC; Best piece of advice you have been given about your practice?
JF: Make big things...This was what my mentor kept telling me in the early days...It has stuck in my mind and I will, I promise, I just need to make a lot of little things first. ..
I think he said that with the view that the effort and time it takes making one big thing comparing the price you can sell it for, makes it just much more worth your while to make it BIG.
MC; What would be YOUR advice to someone just beginning their practice?JF: Half of me wants to scream loudly “DON’T DO IT!!!”
But more than half of me would loooove to hear about when you start to follow your dream.
Just keep in mind it is not an easy trade to work with if you expect to live of it and pay your bills with it. If you start with the mindset of ‘I will see how it goes and I still have my part time job as safety” I think that’s the way to go initially.
Julia is a regular contributor to Mud Colony with her blog FORMBAR CREATIVE CLAY