22 July 2016
Designer Spotlight: Lisa from Springwood Porcelain
visit storeHi, I'm Lisa, the owner/designer/creator of Springwood Porcelain. From my home studio in Melbourne, I produce a varied range of porcelain homewares that I'd describe as modern with a vintage flair. I've been selling on Made It for almost 4 years and it's an amazing, all-Australian bounty of handmade goodness.
It's not always easy juggling a part time job, an 8- and 2-year-old, basketball, footy, long commutes to work and keeping the house going and food in tummies, but no matter how busy things get, I can ALWAYS find time to create. It's my zone out, stay sane, happy place.
About 3 years ago we were looking for a new house. I walked into this study and the house was mine! I didn't even need to see the rest, this study was so perfect that I couldn't wait to fill the shelves with all of my creative mayhem.
The garage, which someone tells me is supposed to house cars, (what a waste of space!) is where I keep my 2 kilns and custom made 5.5 meter bench for rolling clay and pouring moulds and where I work in the warmer months. When it's cold, like now, I take over the kitchen bench.
All of my pieces are hand built from high-grade porcelain. People often ask me how porcelain is different from other ceramics. To put it as briefly as possible, porcelain has a finer grade, is smooth to the touch, very white, fired to very high temperatures making it very light but very hardy, and is translucent when held up to the light. Porcelain is the king of the ceramics world. Once you work with silky smooth, bright white porcelain, it's hard to go back to its gritty, heavy and greyish cousin. The downside is that it's prone to warping, cracking and generally being very difficult to work with, but the results are worth all the disasters!
I love to incorporate texture and colour into my pieces and have a bit of an obsession with collecting vintage lace. It was this love affair with lace that over time, lead to my signature look of modern design with a vintage touch. Texture definitely inspires me and I often use leaves, wood stamps and other items from nature to give my work texture.
While my range covers a wide variety of homewares from bowls to coasters, and wall art to cups, I specialise in two areas. The first is ring dishes, with a focus on personalised gifts for engagements, weddings, anniversaries and birthdays. The second is my range of Christmas ornaments which are released from September.
I started my journey with porcelain over 20 years ago, when I was just a teenager, and my family took over a small family business that made porcelain figurines in the style of Lladro. My mum, dad, sister and I put our heart and soul into the business and took over a studio space at the Bendigo Pottery in regional Victoria. We were based there for 10 years, selling our figurines to tourists who took them back to all corners of the globe.
Well life took over for my sister and I. University, travel then marriage and eventually kids. We shut up shop and everything was put into storage.
Many years later after moving to Melbourne and have kids of my own, I felt the need to create, and it was natural for me to go back to my roots with porcelain, but in a very different way. At first I made my own porcelain jewellery, but didn't feel that I had found my calling. I then saw the huge amount of jewellery makers out there were working with artisan beads, so I began to make unique beads and pendants for people to create with.
I still felt like I had not found my niche and began to experiment with small homewares. Hand built and unique. I loved the texture and vintage feel of lace, so began imprint my clay with beautiful lace designs. I loved the combination of modern and vintage, and my small bowls, ring dishes, mobiles and ornaments have this at their core.
I am now proud to say my ring dishes have travelled down the aisle holding precious rings across the globe. I continue to grow and develop my range but always stay true to the vintage/modern feel that has become my signature look
I am excited to see the new rise of handmade. People are stepping away from mass-produced, generic items in favour of handmade, and why wouldn't you? Given the choice, wouldn't you want to purchase an item and have direct contact with the very person who produced it, and know that it was made right here in Australia? Knowing that your money was supporting someone's family and their dream? I love shopping handmade for all the little things; the personal gift-wrapped piece that was made with love and care, the emails from the seller making sure my item is just right for me, being able to have input into the finished product. I have to say, one of my favourite parts of running Springwood Porcelain is hearing from happy customers like this:
A big part of making all this possible is the exposure that wonderful Made It gives to Australian sellers. Sure, you can jump online and find other sites to do your shopping, but as a seller and a shopper, I love knowing that everything I see on Made It is made right here in Australia by others who are just like me. It feels really good to support someone who is chasing their dream to run a successful handmade business just like I am.
Visit Lisa’s Store to find your own perfect piece of porcelain: SpringwoodPorcelain