DISCOVERING CERAMICS: Amy Wale's Journey through "Creepy Little Legs" & being a kid again
Apr 29, 2020
Many of us dream from time to time of shifting gears and changing our careers to follow a new creative passion, and here at Boom Shankar we have been totally inspired by Amy Wale's success following her own.
You may have noticed a number of Amy's dreamy ceramics popping up in images from our photoshoot with Melbourne-based floral stylist Bek, from Tremella Botanicals and the talented photographer Serge Osipov. We are enamoured with Amy's unique style and here we are lucky enough to get a little sneak peek into her creative world....
Amy's amazing ceramics with our Jaipur Stripe Berty Tunic.
My name is Amy Wale and I have recently fallen in love with making ceramics. I'm still in what I would call a learning and exploring stage of my practice but am thrilled to have already had a couple of unexpected sales and commissions. I'm working from a cute studio space in North Fitzroy ... well, I was. Now I'm homeschooling and making a mess on the dining table once in a while!
You were previously a graphic designer, talk us through the journey that has led you to become a Ceramicist
While graphic design has for the most part been a fun and flexible career, I became weary of the long amount of time stuck at a computer screen. I secretly booked into a ceramics class, not telling anyone in case it was a terrible disaster, and instead of coming out embarrassed, I came out feeling excited and inspired. And from there I just wanted to make more and more...
"Where graphic design meets ceramics: designing my monogram was fun, and then stamping it into wet clay... the best!"
What inspires your approach to ceramics and is there cross over between your approach to graphic design and ceramics?
Being new to the medium, my style is in development. I'm still trying out a lot of different forms - from simple organic shapes on the wheel, to some more geometric handbuilt forms I've been exploring recently. And there was my 'creepy little legs' phase. Who knows when that might re-surface? (Or even if it should)
"Creepy little legs: This is one of my favourites but I fear it may scuttle away some day and I won't know where it is."
I have had some friends comment that my work has a very "Amy" feel to it. So my own aesthetic must be at work with me, even on the days I think I'm by myself.
The designer in me loves to make sketches and plans but happily they often get tossed aside during the making process. I like seeing where the clay wants to go. Likewise, things generally come out of the kiln looking so different to what I expect, and that's part of the thrill.
What do you love most about making ceramics?
Getting dirty. Honestly, it feels like being a kid again.
How are you and your family finding joy in life while we stay at home at the moment?
This is a great question. I have been feeling a surprising amount of gratitude during this strangest of times. If someone had described this moment to me a year ago I would have thought it sounded like hell on earth. But it has been a great time to slow down, find simple pleasures and work out what is important. I have dug up some of the lawn and planted a new garden patch. I go out every morning and check on the progress of the beans I planted with my kids in the 'holidays'. Fresh air seems fresher and walks with a friend more precious. And we are all more in love than ever with our gorgeous 11 year old staffy. She makes us laugh every day.
You are at the beginning of a new creative chapter in your life, where do you hope to take your ceramic work?
It does feel like a whole new creative chapter! Exciting. I have no particular goals just yet, other than exploration, but what I have loved so far about my journey with ceramics is the sense of community. There have been so many lovely people I have met as teachers, as classmates and as general enthusiasts. The ceramics community are so friendly and supportive so I feel like whatever happens next is going to be full of great people who are genuinely loving what they are doing. Especially me!
You can check out and follow Amy's work here (@amywale)
Send Amy a direct message on instagram if you are interested in collecting her work.
Thank you Amy! We love what you do and can't wait to see what comes next! (And yes... we love those creepy little legs!)