Designers on your doorstep

Claire Ellis

I am interested in the opposites of hope and despair, how they relate and how they can be influenced by the way we use materials. Can we transform emotions through the transformation of material? I made this piece in my home studio with recycled plastic clay bags from my practice and handbuilt stoneware clay. The contrast of the materials speak to the dichotomy of emotions that stem from engaging with climate justice. This bottle aims to provide solace in the home as a symbol of possibility.

IMAGE > Claire Ellis, <em>Good Greif</em>, 2021, white raku clay and recycled clay bags, 28 x 7 x 4 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.
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Spending so much time at home in lockdown has really highlighted how much design affects our quality of life.

Working from home throughout lockdown forced me to be more organised and efficient with space. I had to come up with some creative solutions for storing all my work that couldn't be fired. Most importantly I learned getting outside as much as possible was essential to balance living and working in the same room.

I'm very happy to have recently moved to Brunswick East, down the street from CERES, the community Environment Park. I love being surrounded by the beautiful biodiversity and wooden structures. When I'm there I feel like I'm not in the city any more.

Can we transform emotions through the transformation of material? 

My favourite room at home in terms of design is the Kitchen. I love the old terracotta tiles and the glass door that lets in the afternoon sunlight. It has a lovely view out to the lemon tree in the backyard.

My favourite design object at home is a Ruby Pilven Vase. The patterns she makes in the clay are so unique and skilful. The colours are rich and it really makes a room feel special.

My favourite recipe these days is Yasmin Khan's vegetarian version of Maqloubeh, "upside-down rice with aubergines and peppers" from her book Zaitoun. It's so beautiful and delicious, there's no other word for it than joyous. Perfect for lockdown.

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IMAGES [Top to bottom] > All images courtesy of the artist.
Recipe image source: Maqloubeh by Yasmin Khan on Love Food.

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Designers on your doorstep

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