Meet Anabelle Stonehouse
Say hello to another of our fantastic tutors, Anabelle! We sat down with Anabelle to get all the ceramics goss…
If you've taken a class with us at the Takeawei studio before, you might remember Anabelle - our studio manager and ceramics tutor extraordinaire! Anabelle is known for her friendly and encouraging teaching style, as well as her expert knowledge of firing and bringing your work to life in our studio kilns. She specialises in teaching the beginners and 6 week wheel course, and will soon be adding a new hand building sculptural vase workshop to her repertoire. Drawing on her practice in fine arts ceramics, we can't wait to see the beautiful pieces that will come out of this workshop.
Where did you grow up and where's home for you now?
I am a ceramic artist based between Naarm and Wadawurrung Country- half my time is spent in Melbourne studying and working and the other half I'm down the coast, where I live and work for Takeawei. So I'm getting the best of both worlds at the moment!
How did you get into pottery?
I have always been creative but had a particular interest in making 3D sculptures. I had my first play with clay in high school and then went on to study a Bachelor of Fine Art at RMIT and majored in ceramic specialisation. Now I am back at RMIT studying a Master of Fine Art!
Who or what inspires you in your craft?
My work is sculptural and functional, I make art objects as well as small collections of bespoke tableware. My current focus for my Masters research is to expand my mixed-media practice by incorporating fabric, textiles, beads, cosmetics and embedded gems. Some artists who inspire me are Juz Kitson, Vittoria di Stefano and Fanny Ollas.
What classes do you teach at Takeawei? Which is your favourite and why?
I teach the Beginners Wheel Classes, the 6 Week Wheel Course and soon we will be introducing a new hand-building workshop making sculptural vases. I am really excited for this workshop as it is my specialty. It is slow paced and relaxing, perfect for those who favour hand building over wheel throwing. The students have the freedom to make any form they want with the provided amount of clay and it results in totally unique and spectacular sculptural vases. I enjoy all the ways to make pottery and love teaching. It is so exciting to see students having fun and making a mess, trying something they wouldn't normally have access to. I think pottery has become so popular because we are all so accustomed to looking at and tapping a screen all day long, but playing with clay, squishing and squeezing with your hands is a grounding and tactile process. It is so exciting to create something special from a lump of earth, especially when you get to use it daily it becomes a ritualistic object for people that reminds them of the fun experience of learning pottery!
What are your best tips for those just starting out in pottery?
After participating in one of our classes, we often have people come back for more! Practice makes perfect so the more you get your hands in some clay and repeat the process of making, the easier it becomes. But my hot tip is to watch and read about pottery as much as you can. There is plenty of info out there, even TikTok is blowing up with pottery videos, and they are so satisfying to watch!
Anabelle's passion for ceramics and commitment to teaching shines through in every aspect of her work, and we're honoured to have her as a member of our team. If you'd like to see more of Anabelle's beautiful work or connect with her on social media, be sure to visit her website at www.anabellestonehouse.com and follow her on Instagram at @anabellestonehouse.