“I’m not sure that you ever know if you’re on the right path with your career,” says Jan Howlin. “I only know that I have endless motivation for pursuing ceramics, and apparently endless patience - when things don’t work out as I’d like, and this is very often, I keep going anyway.” Originally trained in graphic design, Jan also studied interior design. The two fields have merged to some extent through her work in ceramics. “It was only when I picked up a lump of clay about 10 years ago that I was completely taken with making things in three dimensions,” she says. Jan formalised her interest, studying ceramics at the Sydney College of the Arts - completing a Bachelor of Visual Art in 2006 and a Master of Fine Arts degree in 2010. She is exhibiting as part of the joint show Black Line Boogie with Mary van de Wiel [interview] at Saint Cloche Gallery until 1 September.

Which five words best describe you? Short, small, diminutive, vertically challenged.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? After training in design, and copywriting, I worked in advertising, then in corporate communications as a writer, before I went on to write editorial about people and design. Then ceramics happened.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Do what you love.

Whats your proudest achievement? I hope it is yet to come.

What’s been your best decision? Going along with a friend to a night class to learn to make a pinch pot. She made a dog bowl and I changed my life.

Who inspires you? People who imagine things that are genuinely surprising.

What are you passionate about? Life. It’s the best. And the worst.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I would have liked to have been present when Martin Luther King made his “I have a dream” speech.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? Every work I make now seems to suggest another few more things to try so I just want to keep going.

What are you reading? Just finished A tale for the time being, Ruth Ozeki. About to start To Kill a Mockingbird and Go set a Watchman.

images courtesy of jan howlin and saint cloche gallery