Claire Ellis

My extensive research into reclaimed materials and my aim to encourage political change results in my work highlighting two successful climate protests which give me hope.

Victorian slate byproducts sourced from a quarry are fused to a form inspired by a rock formation in the Franklin River where the protests in 1982 prevented a destructive dam from being built and led to the creation of The Greens.

In the second vessel, coarse basalt melting through reclaimed clay mirrors metallic seabed nodules whose value have put the ocean at risk of a deep sea mining boom alongside the cobalt-rich crusts of seamounts which the form references. Activists carried out the first-ever occupation against deep sea mining as part of a 2-week protest in the Pacific Ocean. Greenpeace protested during almost half of The Metals Company’s scheduled expedition, costing them $1 million a day, alongside winning a landmark judgment for peaceful protest.


Claire Ellis is a Canadian-born ceramic artist and designer based in Naarm. Influenced by her former career as a chef, her practice is informed by a focus on existing resources and deep experimentation. In 2022 her work won the innovation award at the Warrandyte Pottery Expo and was a finalist in several environmental art and design prizes. Her work has been exhibited internationally and has been published in magazines, journals and books. Claire is passionate about climate justice and aims to create opportunities for catharsis and political change through her work.

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IMAGE > Claire Ellis in her studio. Image courtesy of the artist.