It was love at first sight for the Makers' Mrkt team when we spotted the work of Glost Studios. However we fell even harder when we learnt more about the lady behind the wheel! Ciane Brewster is a talented ceramicist and Visual Arts teacher who runs a creative studio under the Glost namesake. She does all of this while creating the curvy, perfectly imperfect objects of our dreams!
We spoke to Ciane about starting out and sharing knowledge.
Please tell us about your journey to Glost Studios. Did you study? What drew you to the art of ceramics?
From a young age my mum has always encouraged me creatively. She was an art teacher herself and so I would always be painting, drawing, or sculpting with her while she prepared for her classes. But I was drawn to clay the most. I went to university to study Visual Arts and Secondary Education, with my major in sculpture. For years my art making would revolve around whatever I was teaching in class at the time, without doing much for myself. But then about five years ago my partner bought me a pottery wheel for Christmas and this kind of forced me (happily) to take up a practice of my own again.
We love the curved lines and rounded textures of your beautiful pieces. What does your creative process look like?
My creative process is all over the place. I have always struggled with repetition, so even now I jump from hand building to wheel throwing, occasionally combining the two. But I have always been drawn to figurative and organic forms. So as much as the aesthetic of my pieces tends to shift over time there is always something almost feminine about them; remnants of the curve of a hip or spine, or the bulge of a belly. I usually start with a loose visual in mind and then I just see where the clay takes me and adjust it as I go.
What role does colour play in your work? What colours are you drawn to?
I am drawn to earthy or muted colours. The raw form of clay always appeals to me, as does a simple, opaque glaze. I love native Australian flowers and so I suppose the colours I tend to use work well with those florals. Cream, green, brown and pink tend to be my go-to; my ceramics are already complicated in their form, so simple colours always work best.
Please tell us about your studio/workspace! What do you need to have around you to feel creative and motivated?
I’m always more motivated to create if I’m in a space that I feel comfortable to hang out in. Warm lighting, clean and tidy, and as many plants as I can appropriately fit into it. I’ve recently upgraded from my garage to an actual studio space in Dulwich Hill, which I’m now running wheel throwing and hand building classes from. I think being able to share the space with other people that are excited about ceramics has been really good for me, creatively. The energy is contagious!
You’re also a Visual Arts Teacher! So cool! Balancing your creative practice with your teaching job must involve some expert organisation skills. Do you have any tips or secrets on how you stay on top of things?
Yes, I am! I only teach three days a week now, having recently dropped down from full time so I can commit a bit more energy to all things Glost. I’m incredibly lucky that I have an understanding support system at work. In terms of organisation, routine is important for me. I try to set myself times and days in which I focus on my own practice without distraction. This doesn’t always work according to plan, so I guess the other side of that is learning to be flexible. Apart from this I live for colour coded lists!
My students have a surplus of ideas of their own and it’s infectious being around their energy, so I feel like I’m always being pushed to research and learn more about the old and the new in order to help them reach their artmaking goals. When I’m teaching, I’m given the opportunity to explore different materials and methods, as well as artists, that I may not have normally sought out for myself which can be quite motivational. But more than that, I really value sharing my knowledge and expertise with them and watching them improve in their own practice and become excited about their own growing skills.
What advice would you give to emerging Makers who want to start their own business?
Connect with other makers! It can be quite overwhelming starting your own business, but the relationships I’ve begun to build with other creatives has been really encouraging. It’s great to seek advice and to know that there are so many support networks out there for you. But on top of that, ensure you don’t lose the love for what you do. The need to be successful can put a lot of pressure on you, so keep reminding yourself why you started it in the first place.
What are some of your goals for 2021?
My goal for 2021 was to open my studio as a creative working space and to start running my own classes. Which I have managed to do! So, for the remainder of the year I would like to continue to grow that aspect of my business, adding more classes and more opportunities, and possibly even collaborate with other local makers. I also hope to be more productive in my own practice and to put aside more time to create my own work.