I first discovered ceramicist Kim Aitken at a Christmas market stall in Brisbane many years ago. It was the kind of stall you swoop in on, love everything and get a little over-come by all the tantalising choices. I was with my sister and it made Christmas shopping very easy. We bought a swag of things for each other and felt very pleased Christmas shopping had never been such a breeze. There is a real handmade tactile quality to Kim's pieces, it is almost as if you can imagine her molding the delicate curves and the colours are just beautiful. There is no one stop online shop for Kim's work as yet, but her pieces are stocked in lots of lovely boutiques and design markets(see below). Like many popular artisan's who produce individual pieces by hand, Kim can find it hard to keep up with demand, so my advice if you find a piece you like, is simply get it! You'll love it forever.
Shop Handmade, Little Finch, Potato Studio, Everingham & Watson, Les Salles, The Collective Store, The Brisbane Boutique Market and Handmade Market Canberra.
How would you describe yourself?
Creative, productive, welcoming, adaptable, happy.
What was your childhood dream?
To be good at something.
What led you down your current path?
I have always been creative and enjoyed playing a little with art. So when visiting a Tertiary Studies Expo with my daughter, I came across the Visual Arts (Ceramics) Course, I made the decision to study. Ten years later I have the joy of working nearly every day in my studio.
What do you love most about what you do?
That it continues to intrigue and challenge me. Ceramics is very much about the creative but there is a science to the process as well. It is very physically demanding yet somehow meditative. Working with clay requires patience and knowledge and there are variables that you cannot control so it is a wonderful feeling when work is completed with success.
Where do feel most inspired?
I love colour and form so anywhere there is colour, movement, shape and texture, fashion shops, flower gardens, built up environments.
Who do you admire?
I truly admire any person who has overcome personal adversity without losing hope. On a personal level I admire my daughter and son, who live life as an adventure with a joyful and independent spirit. Professionally it is very difficult to single out one person who I admire but I think it is a person who creates, teaches, promotes, and believes in the sustainability of a handmade ethos.
What challenges have you had to overcome?
Combining the making of my work with the rest of what is required to run a small business. I have learned a great deal about planning, technology, marketing, networking, pricing/selling. There are many skill sets that contribute to and directions that you can take as an artist. This at times although exciting can be a challenge.
What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment?
Setting up for a market/event where a body of work is displayed in its entirety and it reflects the image in my mind. To realise that I actually made each piece by hand from start to finish, that is a pinch yourself moment.
What are your top creative resources?* Colour
* My friend Creina (another potter), who sends me hundreds of internet sites of artists. We share thoughts, photos, successes, a few failures and lots of laughs.
* Textiles and fashion magazines.
* Driving in urban, country and coastal landscapes.
What is your idea of happiness?
Time with my family. Walking with a friend. Working in my studio. Swimming in the ocean. Chocolate covered blueberries. A Sunday afternoon movie. A successful kiln firing.
To continue to develop my work and improve my craft and maybe study in the future.
When the weekend rolls around what do you love to:
Read - Fiction.
Watch- Anything supernatural.
Create- In colour.
Listen to- Neil Diamond
Dream about- A new kiln.
Look forward to- Monday when I can get back into my studio.