FAWN TALKS: KIM WALLACE CERAMICS
Creator of delicate and beautiful ceramics and earthenware, Kim Wallace has called Australia home since 2000. Moving here from the Netherlands and continuing work professionally as a Graphic designer until 2008, a passion for arts, crafts and creating things by hand finally took over and we have since found Kim working from a beautiful sun drenched studio on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.
Her craft sees her in a constant state of collaboration, incorporating the designs of other like minded artists into her beautiful one-of-a-kind ceramics. Her latest collection is with illustrator Renee Treml and incorporates images of the beautiful Australian Hop Hop Wren (read more on Kim’s blog).
And she doesn’t stop there – recently announcing her corporate friendship with the McGrath Foundation. Kim has created gorgeous and unique lace printed ceramic hearts, which are sold and see 20% of the price donated to the foundation.
You can find Kim and her designs at the travelling Finders Keepers Markets or online at her estore www.kwceramics.com.au.
Q: Finish the sentence: My designs are.. A: Elegant, detailed, modern romantic and made with care, attention to detail and love.
Q: How would you attribute your time working as a graphic designer to your current design practice? A: I think my time as a graphic designer has taught me a lot about general design aesthetics, composition and use of colour. I know how to work with clean lines, white space and combining elements to make them work well together. This has followed through in my work with ceramics, creating collection of pieces that work well together and are balanced in design and form.
Q: Tell us about your design aesthetic? A: My designs in the Vintage Lace Collection are quite clean and feature bright colours. I don’t like to crowd or ‘overdo’ my designs featuring the lace, it would get too messy and the beautiful lace patterns spoiled and lost. I try to make them shine by using simple shapes and uncomplicated techniques to create the pieces.
Q: The Vintage Lace Collection is such a beautiful feminine collection with a very cute and quirky story behind it, have you always found your inspiration in this way? A: I love being inspired by my surroundings and found objects, and incorporating them into modern, functional pieces. There is so much beauty out there that goes unnoticed or unappreciated, I like to think of ways to highlight their good qualities and ‘solving’ the issues that made them forgettable in the first place. My latest range is inspired by our move to the Sunshine Coast, focussing on details of pebbles, shells and other things found on the beaches here and on bush walks. The range is quite the opposite to my Vintage Lace Collection, with more earthy finishes and tones. The end result is not meant to be a literal translation of my findings, rather an abstract interpretation of the patterns and colours I have found in these objects.
Q: A lot of contemporary designers are not as hands on with their work? Do you see the creation process as a crucial part of the design progression? A: Ceramics is a very hands-on art form. You can have a piece envisaged only to find out it just won’t work with the techniques, clay, colours or glazes you are using and you have to
constantly adapt and evolve with this. It can create surprising outcomes in a good, or a bad
way! Nevertheless it is the part I love, being so opposite to how I used to create my work on the computer screen in my career as a graphic designer.
Q: Do you have any new collaborative works in the process? A: I’m about to release a brand new collaborative range with Melbourne-based illustrative artist Renée Treml, called the ‘Aves’ collection. Renée and I met about 5 years ago through our creative businesses and have been friends since. Renée creates her illustrations using a technique called scratchboard, whereby she starts with a board that has been coated with a thin layer of soft white clay, which is painted with black ink. The ink is then scratched away with a fine blade, revealing the white clay beneath. The result is incredibly beautiful and detailed illustrations that I have always been a huge fan of. A collaboration has always been in the back of our minds and we are so excited that this is finally coming to fruition! Developing the range has taken the last 8 months with many technical issues in the ceramics process to overcome to achieve the result we hoped for. Renée has created a gorgeous series of illustrations featuring Australian native birds, with the range completed by pieces featuring feathers, eggs, nests and foot prints. I am using a special (and tricky) technique to transfer her work onto the porcelain ceramics ~ we didn’t want a ‘perfect’ result of the image on a bowl or mug, but rather the end piece still being clearly handmade and showcasing the processes used. The transfer leaves a highly detailed, yet slightly imperfect and always different duplicate of Renée’s image in a beautiful black/sepia tone that we are both in love with. The collection includes bowls, mugs, cups, plates and dishes and I can’t wait to finally launch the range!
Q: Where do you see the brand going in the future? A: I keep adding pieces to my signature doily range as they develop. I’m also excited to work on two brand new ranges, and hoping to launch these very soon. I am slowly building my stockists around the country to be able to offer my work in all states and so excited to be creating an order for my first international stockist at the moment! I recently employed a part-time studio person to help with studio duties such as glazing and packing orders, which has been the best thing for my business, allowing me to focus on my new ranges and growing my business. I’m looking forward to continuing this growth and adding more lovely stockists to my list!
Words by Marley Tinnock.