Designers on your doorstep

Kate Buttery

In one way, this piece is 'just a vase'. A homeware I could sell at a market for cheap, or a sculptural vessel I could sell in an upmarket shop at a price more reflective of it's actual worth. Either way, it is a pretty domestic object for use in a pretty home. But pretty homes are not always what they seem. Pretty homes with pretty things can hide ugly truths. Domestic violence, children bullied into submission by their parents, lack of belief, support, or true care towards each other.  

Homes can be made up of damaged and broken parts. This vase was made from a half-made planter that fell on the floor in my studio.  Squashed beyond saving in to a planter, but not so squashed beyond transforming in to something else, I cut huge gashes in to the walls, and folded them back in on themselves. In flattening out the damaged base, the whole piece started to collapse. It formed a belly in the vase that spilled out over the base, threatening to escape it's own form. The way this piece came to be reflects how so many homes come to be. Imperfect and damaged, full of accidents, but on the surface quite pretty.

IMAGE > Kate Buttery, <em>Cut and Fold Vase #1</em>, 2021, glazed stoneware ceramic, 8 x 12 x 12 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.
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Lockdown hasn’t really changed my ideas significantly. I suppose my only realisation at home is how our lack of outdoor space and ventilation is a real design flaw in the building.

Lockdown has actually generated so many more opportunities to learn from artists outside of Australia. I am particularly drawn to the ceramic designs coming out of the USA and Canada, and have been able to attend live Zoom workshops with three artists whose work I love.

Lockdown has actually generated so many more opportunities to learn from artists outside of Australia.

I live in a building that was once a grand old cinema. My apartment is just one big room (apart from the bathrooms). I think my favourite design element is the curve in the wall where the walls used to curve around towards the movie screen.

These Goop Cups by LA Based artist Sean Michael Gallagher are my current favourite design objects in the house.

Whiskey Pumpkin Pie

  • 425g butternut pumpkin puree
  • 1⁄2 cup cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 3⁄4 cup sugar
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice (cinnamon, nutmeg etc.)
  • 1⁄2 tsp cloves
  • 2 tbsp of plain flour 
  • 90ml whisky
  • Frozen Shortcrust Pie Base


1. Blind bake the pie crust as per instructions on the package. Cover the edges with some alfoil to stop them from burning. 
2. While the crust is blind baking, mix all ingredients together for the filling.
3. Remove the crust from the oven and add the pie mixture to the crust. Place the alfoil back over the crust edges again.
4. Return to the oven and bake at 215C for 15 minutes.
5. Then bake at 175C for 40-50 minutes.
6. It’s done when you insert a toothpick, and it comes out clean 5. Let cool for 2 hours.
7. Serve chilled.

IMAGES [Top to bottom] > All images courtesy of the artist. Recipe image source: unsplash.

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Designers on your doorstep

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