Hi Melissa, please tell us about your stall.
I create unique ceramics that are functional. It is a passion of mine that my pieces can be enjoyed every day. I mainly focus on creating tumblers, mugs and vases.
I remember first being introduced to clay in secondary school and being excited at the chance to create something special. I completed a Bachelor of Fine Art (Design) at the Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland New Zealand, and took a roundabout journey to reach my creative career.
Now I work out of my home studio on the Mornington Peninsula, drawing inspiration from my life, travel, experiences and the abundant beauty I am privileged to experience daily in this part of the world. I spend my time juggling clay, two children and a Labrador. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
How did you begin your business, and why?
I began my business after deciding I wanted to spend my time doing what I love and what I am passionate about. I had begun my working career working creatively, but after some years I had drifted away. Once I had a family, my desire to work for myself and get back to what I really enjoy doing grew stronger. That is when I rediscovered my creative side and took the leap to start my own small ceramics business.
Where and how did you learn to create such pieces and what drives you?
I learnt my craft at evening classes in Melbourne, I already had a background in design and this influences how I work. I get a lot of my inspiration from living on the Peninsula, through the coastal environment. I also feel influenced from my past travels, study, and experiences.
Can you elaborate on your creative process? How do you make your items, and what sets you apart from other stalls?
I create my items start to finish by myself in my home studio. I spend time thinking about shape, colour and texture. I have a lot of trial and error when I am creating, I layer glazes, play with stains in clay, creating unique pieces. I enjoy working with stains and creating marbled pieces. I love that no two marbled pieces can be the same, making these pieces completely unique.
What do you love most about being a stallholder at CMA?
I am new to CMA and am awaiting my first in person stall!
Visit the CMA Virtual Market and support our stallholders!
Describe your experience of being a small business owner in Australia.
It takes a lot effort to run your own business, but there are so many positives. I can do what I love and dictate my own time. It takes personal motivation to make things happen and therein lays the reward.
What are the challenges and rewards of being your own boss?
My experience has had its challenges as I worked towards and launched a business during Covid. At the same time it has given me focus during a difficult time. My biggest achievement so far, as I am so newly public, is getting my business off the ground from an idea to being a real business. I'm certain there will be more challenges along the way, but I am committed and dedicated to making Birdrock Ceramics a success!
Describe your perfect weekend!
My perfect weekend is relaxing with family at our local beach.
What do you see for the future for you, and your business?
I see huge possibility in my future for my business. I want to continue to explore creatively, challenging myself to improve skill and technique as well as grow my business by attending physical markets and grow my following online.
What do you love about Melbourne and Victoria?
I love Melbourne and Victoria. There is so much possibility for small business owners and there is so much support. It is a fantastic place to be working in this handmade creative industry.
What other stalls are you looking forward to checking out at our next CMA market day?
I love checking out all the ceramic, handmade, jewellery and art stalls. I love the originality that the markets bring.
What advice would you give to someone interested in setting up their own small business or stall?
If you are passionate about what you do, then just do it!
How did you adapt and overcome the challenges of the past year?
Running a small business during the past year has provided an extra focus. I have had to focus my efforts online and have a Plan B to the markets I expected to be present at.
Visit my site here - www.birdrockceramics.com