I first came across Bonnie's glorious works at a Finders Keepers market (Ps, I'll be attending the one in Brisbane in November!) And after starting this Meet the Maker project I absolutely couldn't wait to shoot with her.
I am absolutely obsessed with her beautiful ceramics. And for a person that's not that really into bright colours, that's a pretty bold statement. I love the bright, cheery feel they have to them... The kind of pieces that instantly put a smile on your dial (and they're practical too!)
Bonnie has an awesome studio space; it's a shared warehouse style area where she works alongside a group of other artists and small business owners. It's a well lit space, filled with plants and gorgeous pieces of art...
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Bonnie and I make fun and functional ceramics.
What inspired you to create your art / how did it all begin?
My mum had a hobby ceramics business when I was growing up, so from the age of 13 I’ve had access to materials and a kiln. Throughout my teens and early twenties I alternated between focusing on illustration and ceramics, and it’s only been in the last 3 years that I’ve settled on a combination of the two. I love painting tiny details and creating cute characters through illustration, but I’m also drawn to creating functional pieces.
How long have you been selling your art?
For around 12 years. I started selling a small range of ceramic dolly head necklaces at a friend’s picture framing shop in high-school and it’s progressed from there!
Can you describe your workflow?
I try to set an agenda for each day in the studio and usually work to that target until it’s complete. Sometimes this means working ridiculously long hours but it’s always satisfying to reach the intended goal at the end of the day.
Growing up, what did you aspire to be?
An ‘artest’ – Bonnie, aged 7.
What’s your favourite thing about your art?
The beautiful colours. I never get bored of seeing the underglazes come to life through the firing and glazing process.
What’s currently the most popular item in your shop?
The Botanica mugs!
How did you take the plunge to leave your day job and focus on your art?
Even though I haven’t ‘left’ my day job, making the decision to reduce from full to part time definitely felt like I was taking a risk. I got to the point where I knew I had to pursue my art practice in a more serious way at that particular point, or I would always wish I had. I’m still in the process of making the subsequent little leaps to fully focusing on being a creative but each one feels natural and far less intimidating as they come along.
At what point did you realise this wasn’t a hobby anymore?
I think I’ve always taken my art very seriously, which has been funny looking back on the different stages where it’s now obvious I didn’t have the skill level or knowledge necessary to pursue a career. I think the fact that I’ve always had that as the very clear goal, and believed in it, is a very big reason why eventually it started to click into place. When I realised I was selling as many pieces as I was making I realised I was onto something.
What is your intention behind your work?
To make joyful pieces of art that people can cherish and use in their every day life.