Meet the maker: Richard Camilleri

Q+A with Richard Camilleri
How did you come to pottery + ceramics initially?
I have always been very interested in making things, as a six or seven year old I loved hand tools and building things. As a teenager I started noticing and appreciating lots of different crafts, I spent a lot of time visiting the Argyle Arts Centre at the Rocks, I especially liked the look of hand made pottery. When I was around fourteen my brother hired a kick wheel which I tried, from this point on I was hooked, at first it was the challenge of centering that ball of clay and gradually learning how to open up then raise the clay into a cylinder. I gradually learnt how to work with that stubborn substance called clay, it involved a lot of frustration but over time and a lot of practice it became easier and enjoyable. I have participated in various pottery classes over the years and have enjoyed the interaction with other potters
 Where do you get your inspiration from?

Inspiration for me comes in many ways, from observing landscapes, nature and man made objects. I try to incorporate the patterns and textures that I encounter each day into my pots. Trial and error definitely comes into developing new ideas.

Tell us a bit about your process.

A design starts as an idea or sketch but usually develops through the making process. Sometimes an idea can emerge accidentally while working on the wheel, A design usually improves overtime through subtle changes.

You have a beautiful garden, what are some of your favourite plants + why?

I enjoy the garden, it is an ideal place to get inspiration and is a great place to work. I have many different Bromeliads, they produce interesting flowers and the different leaf shapes produce an overall look I like. These plants are tolerant of sometimes neglectful owners. The lemon scented tea tree helps attract a surprising large number of birds for a built up Eastern suburbs area.

Tell us about the ceramic planters you have made for us.

One of the planter pots I make includes a saucer which is an important part of the overall design. The saucer for an indoor plant is a practical necessity. The decoration so far is a subtle carved line along the circumference of the pot, I feel that the plant should have the centre of attention. I plan to develop some new glazes and introduce new colour combinations to the planters over time.

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