This week we take you to the studio of one of our talented makers —ceramicist Melissa Lellouche based in Mullumbimby, NSW. Inspired to create pieces that fit within beautiful interiors, her slow practice involves hand-building each form using no pottery wheels or moulds and locally sourced clay. Her preferred palette includes beautiful natural terracotta tones and white matte glazes. Come read her story.
Where is your studio based?
My studio is at my home in Mullumbimby, just outside of the Byron Shire.
What do you love about living in the Byron region?
I love the idea of there being fresh water everywhere here. I love the outdoors and I can swim nearly everyday if I choose to. The winters here are beautiful too. And of course the support and friendships that I have found on my journey.
As a mother I love watching my son run around in the neighbourhood with his friends and enjoying an old-fashioned childhood.
When did you start making your ceramics? How did you learn?
I started my ceramic journey 16 years ago in Israel (where I'm from) under the mentorship of a great friend Michal Polak. She was a huge inspiration for me and taught me everything she knew. Once I moved to Australia, it wasn't until after I had my son that I started working seriously — around 7 or 8 years ago.
Where do you source your materials?
I source all of my clay from Australia - it is locally made. The glazes I use are primarily local but on occasion I buy products from Europe as they tend to be very high quality.
Do you try to embrace slow living in your life and work? If so, can you share how you do this?
I do embrace slow living — sometimes not necessarily by choice. Being here in this environment and with the traditional way in which I work, it can be really hard to create anything at a fast pace. I am also a full-time mum and as we have no family around us this tends to slow things down.
What inspires you and your work?
Most of my inspiration comes from beautiful homes. I have a big love for interior design and home styling. I find myself constantly inspired to create pieces that would fit into the designs I like. I'm especially drawn to older, more classic shapes and love to bring them into the contemporary homes with my own interpretation. I used to be a florist so I enjoy seeing flowers and plants in the forms that I create — it's a great inspiration for me.