Monday, 17 March 2014

profile - elke lucas ceramics.

Ceramicist Elke Lucas

Today I am thrilled to feature the work of ceramicist Elke Lucas, who enjoys many of the things I love too - native plants and walking through Noosa National Park - both of which influence her work - no wonder I love it! Elke's ceramics have a lovely curvaceous handmade quality, which makes each individual piece unique. Describing her ceramics as pieces which are, "made to be used, loved and enjoyed," there is no doubt  they add a certain specialness to any table top and I imagine food would undoubtedly taste better served up in one of her hand thrown pots. With an obvious passion for what she does, Elke's insight into her career as a ceramicist is inspiring. I get a real buzz featuring people like Elke who have taken the plunge to pursue what they love to do and despite myriad challenges, continue to find inspiration and joy in what they do every day. You can find Elke at the Peregian Beach markets and can also snap up her pieces on online

How would you describe yourself:
Someone who looks and listens.

What was your childhood dream?
To travel the world.

What led you down your current path?
Love really,  I was traveling up the west coast of Ireland in an old converted red fire engine where I met a surfer who was on the same journey. He came from a family of eccentric artists and he was a potter. We fell in love and after many adventures together we eventually took over the family pottery on the Cornish coast. I thought, ‘well if you can’t beat them join them’ so I started making pots. We used the local earthenware clay from that area and to my surprise found I was a natural and my pots quickly became successful, I always had a secret longing to work with porcelain though, because I loved its delicate translucent quality. Since setting up my studio in Noosa on the Sunshine coast I’ve been able to fulfill that desire as I’m now working with these fantastic Australian porcelains and just loving working with clay again. 

What do you love most about what you do?
Working from home and doing what you love is the most satisfying work – I love working with clay, I love the endless possibilities it represents, I love the successes and sometimes even the failures can help you to progress to where you want to get to. I have two boys too and it’s great that I can be there when they get home from school – working for myself gives me the flexibility to be there for the family and work around it and still get to do what I love..

Where do feel most inspired and what inspires your collections – Botanic – MaC Dot – Running Copper?
Walking through the National Park gives me time to look at all the beautiful leaves,
grasses and flowers that are native to this area. Every time I discover a new shape of leaf or shell, stone or even stick, I have to inspect closely to see if it would work on one of my ceramic pieces. The colours, shapes and textures I see on a daily basis through the park and on the beach are a constant inspiration for my work.

The Botanic Range is inspired by the leaves, grasses and flowers I come across daily when walking through the park.

The effect on the MaC Dot Range is reminiscent of a piece of sea shell that has been scoured by the effects of sand and waves and washed up onto the beach.

The Running Copper Range is a reflection of the greens I see in the park, sometimes the light reflects through the leaves, sometimes the leaves look dark and ‘gloomy’

The K├Ânig Gold Range has evolved from being inspired by sea urchins and the Darion Fruit (also known as King of fruits) – hence the raised studs on the pots and once I discovered gold it took me right back to my teens when I wore a studded white leather belt after punk had finally reached my sleepy village in the Black Forest!

Who do you admire?
I admire people who have the courage to just be themselves and follow their dreams.

What challenges have you had to overcome?
Pottery always has constant challenges. It’s quite a process to get started because of the amount of equipment required to set up a studio and the time you have to put in to acquire the skills involved. It’s taken me a while to take the plunge, invest money and pour myself into it but as soon as I did, it was all worth it.
The work itself is challenging as there are so many factors that can affect the end result from the consistency of the clay to the weather conditions for drying to the glaze testings and the firing techniques – pottery has endless options and endless challenges but that’s what makes it such an interesting craft to be involved in.

What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment?
Sometimes juggling the demands of life can become all consuming – so for me those moments when you can suddenly see clearly and feel thankful for everything, those times are precious.

What are your top (four) inspiring resources (books, blogs, music, the outdoors etc)?
The internet is the most amazing resource, I enjoy looking at beautiful ceramics, but really I draw most of my inspiration from nature. I’m a soul girl too, I love the old motown soul classics and usually have either that or some Xavier Rudd or Ben Howard blasting out in the workshop.

Do you have a dream creative project?
Answer- One day I’ll embark on a journey to master the secrets of glaze making

What are you currently coveting in the world of design?
I love design that is beautiful to look at as well as being functional.

What's next?
I wish I knew.

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to:
Read –  Something light usually, PG Woodhouse always makes me laugh.
Watch- Addicted to Breaking Bad at the moment (I know I’m a bit behind).
Cook-  Home made pizza with the family.
Create- Havoc if I’m stressed.
Listen to- Friends solving all the worlds’ problems whilst drinking some wine.
Dream about- The beautiful spacious workshop I one day will have.
Look forward to- Simple and easy times.