Australian Ceramics Open Studios (ACOS) is an annual nationwide weekend held event that celebrates clay, community and creativity. Hosted by The Australian Ceramics Association, more than 100 ceramics studios – including many in and around Australia’s capital cities and regional centres – open their doors to offer insight, practical demonstrations and the chance to take home a handmade piece.

Australian Design Centre will host a pop-up studio on Saturday 17 August from 10am - 4pm as part of the Australian Ceramics Open Studios 2019. We’re thrilled to have ceramicist Elisa Bartels in the gallery sharing her knowledge and discussing ceramic techniques. Come and join us to learn more about this talented artist.

What: Australian Ceramics Open Studios 2019
When: Saturday 17 August, 10am-4pm  
Where: Australian Design Centre  
Cost: Free no bookings required

More about Elisa Bartels: 
Elisa is Sydney based and her work is centred around pushing the boundaries of public perception of the capabilities of ceramics. Clay is a nuanced material that transcends the domestic environment and confidently straddles the perceived divide between art and design.

Bartels career began with a Bachelor of Visual Art at Sydney College of the Arts majoring in ceramics and has developed and strengthened with ongoing studio work. She strives to inject her practice with subtlety and a whimsical strength which sees her incorporate material ranging from metal to plants. Her work is in private collections, stocked in retail stores (including Object Shop) and has been shown in group exhibitions such as Workshopped19.

Find out more about Elisa here

Explore the Open Studio Program here.

Find out more about the Australian Ceramics Community here.

What: Australian Ceramics Open Studios 2019 
When: Saturday 17 August, 10am-4pm 
Where: Australian Design Centre, 101-115 William Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney
Cost: Free no bookings required

Q&A with Elisa Bartels

What is your 'origin story'? Where did it all start?

My career began by completing a Bachelor of Visual Art at Sydney College of the Arts majoring in ceramics and since then my practice has developed and strengthened.  I strive to inject my practice with subtlety and a whimsical strength which leads me to incorporate materials ranging from metal to plants. My work is stocked in retail stores, private residences and I have shown in group exhibitions

Describe the last thing you made?

Ok, I’m cheating and mentioning more than one thing because so much of ceramics is about waiting for components to dry which means I always have multiple projects ‘on the go’. I made some thin, textured panels for a commission piece; then I tried hand-building a cylinder that looks like a branch with a surface imprinted with leaves and twigs (prototyping but made a good start) and continued to make my black fired homewares ready for my day at ADC,

What part of the making process do you enjoy the most?

My ceramics practice is heavily influenced by the seasons. My pieces are all decorated with plants that I find in my local area. My favourite part is wandering the streets and local park to see what is in season. Discovering plants with interesting shaped leaves which are pliable and able to be wrapped around the surface of my pots. Having moved near a lake I am now finding duck feathers, so I’m excited to see how they translate on the surface. 

Who should we be following on Instagram? Who are your favourite local makers?

Wow that’s a big question. I tend to get my inspiration outside of my medium. India Flint (@prophet_of_bloom) is from South Australia. She is an amazing textile artist, specialising in natural dyeing. Cedric Grolet (@cedricgrolet) is a French pastry chef with an amazing eye for detail and a love of meticulous construction. Finally, @lagrossetoile is an Australian living in France who buys old (pre industrial revolution) linen clothing, sheets and haberdashery and sell them. She is a font of information about linen and its history. Of course, there’s plenty more but these are the three that popped into my head when I read this question.

What's next on the horizon for you?

A possible exhibition in early 2020 (hence prototyping cylinders that look like branches). Working hard to expand my business and get more stockists on board.

Top image: Elisa Bartels, Black Fired Ceramics, 2019. Photo: Greg Piper. 

Bottom image: Elisa Bartels, 2019. Image courtesy of the artist. 

Elisa Bartels Portrait_Image courtesy of the artist
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