Spotlight on Canberra makers

Australian Design Centre’s Object Shop supports handmade craft and design by Australian makers. As the Design Canberra Festival kicks in to gear this month, we put a spotlight on Object Shop’s Canberra based makers and designers: AMPM Ceramics, Clare Mazitelli, Girl Nomad Ceramics, Harriet Schwarzrock, Jennifer Robertson and Julie Pennington.

AM PM
AMPM Ceramics (Anne Masters Potters Mark) is a small bespoke jewellery, art and design practice by Canberra-based maker Anne Masters. Anne primarily works with Australian­ Southern Ice Porcelain for its translucent and vivid white qualities. The patterns that are on Anne’s earrings are inspired by floral, fir, and quilt textures. Her earrings are perfect for both day and evening wear.

Tell us about how you began your creative practice?
I started my practice when I graduated from ANU School of Art Ceramics Workshop. Like most artists I had to start in my garage as I couldn't afford a studio or kiln. A few years later, my husband and I bought the smallest house in Watson, Canberra as it happened to have a studio and garage. Having a space meant that I could concentrate on making a bespoke collection and I always envisaged patterns on small earrings that could be a 'go to' and transition from day to night. I created my classic collection based on my love of fashion, travel and floral patterns. I love creating ceramic works as I think about my practice all day and all night. Hence the name AM PM ceramics. It's also my potters mark - Anne Masters Potters Mark.

Clare Mazitelli
Clare Mazitelli is a maker based in the A.C.T. Clare creates patterns from her watercolour paintings to print on natural linen and linen-blend fabrics. She combines these fabrics with leather and other materials to make bags, homewares and accessories, aiming to make products that are beautiful, long lasting and functional – something for people to find joy in using and want to look after and keep for a long time.

What part of the making process do you enjoy the most?
I really love all the aspects involved but my absolute favourite part would be coming up with the designs and putting paint to paper.

What's next on the horizon for you?
I'm working on a new summer collection which will be inspired by the patterns of sea shells.

Girl Nomad Ceramics
Girl Nomad Ceramics is designed and handcrafted in Canberra by Richilde Flavell. Richilde enjoys experimenting with a variety of clays and glazes, to make work that is subtle, featuring soft lines with contrasting and complementary elements. Each piece of Richilde’s wheel thrown, functional work is unique. Her range highlights contemporary tableware glazed with volcanic tones and exposed clay surfaces. 

Harriet Schwarzrock
Harriet Schwarzrock’s practice is currently based in her backyard in Queanbeyan NSW, where she and her fellow glass artist/partner Matthew Curtis, run a hot glass studio specialising in tinting custom coloured glass. Schwarzrock has exhibited extensively throughout Australia and abroad. Her work is widely collected, and her piece breathe won the sculpture prize in the 2014 Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize.

Jennifer Robertson
Acclaimed internationally for innovative woven textiles, Jennifer Robertson uses a purpose-built digital hand-loom to create a broad range of woven textiles for fashion, interior and sculptural work. Her thematic research focuses on exploring relationships between environment, human form, interior space and materiality. Investigating the poetic nature of materials, threads are constructed into often multiple layered structures imbued with sensorial properties. Jennifer Robertson has exhibited widely in numerous international and national exhibitions over the last thirty years, since studying at West Surrey College of Art and Design and Royal College of Art, UK and Fondazione Arte della Seta Lisio, Florence, Italy. She migrated to Australia in 1986, established a weaving studio in Fremantle, WA and from 1997 joined the academic staff at the ANU School of Art and Design in Canberra, Australia.

What is next on the horizon for you?
I intend to weave some large scale inorganic woven sculptures using fine carbon, quartz and basalt fibres with stainless steel, continuing the theme of exploring mineral science/geology and weaving, in particular looking at metamorphic tectonites- fabric covering the earth's crust.

Julie Pennington
Julie Pennington is a ceramicist based in Canberra. Her practice is primarily concerned with making porcelain objects, with a particular focus on the vessel as a starting point. Her technique of building with textured coils allows the form and the surface pattern to be created simultaneously, and to reveal the activity of making.

What is your 'origin story'?! Where did it all start?
My early professional background was in education. My path to pursuing a more creative career began with working as a textile designer. I became interested in transforming designs on to 3D objects. Initially I began decorating on greenware provided to me, but soon decided to make my own forms, and so began my studies in ceramics!

What part of the making process do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy the very direct approach of hand building, with little need for tools or other processes to make my forms.


Object Shop is open Tuesday to Saturday, 11am - 4pm. Visit our online shop or in store at 101-115 William Street, Darlinghurst, NSW.

Design Canberra Festival: 4 - 24 November 2019.


Images: Harriet Schwarzrock, Dipped Vases. Photo courtesy of the artist; AM PM Ceramics, Gloss Black Quilt earrings. Photo: Mel Hill Photography; Clare Mazitelli, Chevron tote bag. Photo courtesy of the artist; Jennifer Robertson, Scarf. Photo courtesy of the artist; Julie Pennington, Vessels. Photo: Andrew Sikorski