Happy objects is an Australian Design Centre exhibition exploring the value of objects in our lives. We asked Kathy Elliott to share with us a 'happy object' and tell us a story about this object.

Kathy says:

I have had this ceramic bowl by Sydney artist Toni Warburton since 2008. I bought it from her studio sale. The atmosphere of the sale at Silver Street in Marrickville was so joyful. It was a humid Sydney Saturday in December and the anticipation of Christmas was in the air. They served tea and scones from a trolley in the back garden. I went with my then six year old daughter. She was enchanted but I remember we had to leave in a hurry feeling like we were leaving too soon. We use this bowl a lot. We call it the broccoli bowl because of the resemblance to the vegetable in the pattern. I love everything about this bowl, it’s size, the thick lip, the carving, the pattern, the white glaze and mostly because Toni made it. I have met Toni a few times over the years and have always enjoyed her intelligent, creative insights. I value her honesty and encouragement and I recognise her achievement in committing to a creative life over decades. I would be very sad if this bowl were to break and I would definitely give it a rebirth with kintsugi if that were to happen.

My mother bought this bookmark at a fair to raise money for disadvantaged children in 1975. We were living in England at the time. I was 11 years old. I distinctly remember the stall with its chaotic display. That my mother spotted this beautifully made leather bookmark amongst the bric-a-brac was a miracle. My mum was a great reader, she would buy books every weekend, sometimes buying the same book twice. This bookmark was always in a book by her bed or in the living room. I love its constancy in her life over the years. My mum is still alive but she doesn’t read anymore. When we packed up my mum’s house a few years ago this was one of the things I was so happy to keep. It’s not valuable but is a thread from a time when my mother entered the workforce and it has significance to me because it has rested in the books she loved for over forty years. I also love this bookmark because of the craftsmanship, the carving and the variation of the colour both revealing this has been made by hand. I like to think it a labour of love, possibly made for a friend, before it came into my mother’s hands, and is now safe with me.

Kathy Elliott is a Sydney-based glass carver who has been working with glass since 1991. Her work is usually made in collaboration with her husband Benjamin Edols, a glass blower.