Kanimbla Clay is created by ceramicist Helen Hay. Set amongst the valleys and bushland of Kanimbla, Helen produces precious, visually organic vessels that resonate with her natural surroundings.
What attracted you/got you started on your artistic path?
As far back as I can remember I've always had a paintbrush in my hand, and have always loved being creative. Going to Art college after high school was the real turning point in my artistic direction though.
What inspires you?
The natural environment around me.
Where do you find the inspiration for the designs on your pieces?
Out here in the Kanimbla Valley. I am very fortunate to live and work in such a beautiful place. My workshop looks out across the valley to the escarpment, so I get to observe flora, fauna and the amazing changes of light. Since being here I have been so absorbed in my surroundings, and its great to see that coming through in my work.
Tell us a bit about how you source some of your clay…
I actually buy it from Potters Needs in Oberon. I used to dig for my clay when I was at Uni, but I unfortunately don't have the time at present. Next year I will be doing alot more experimental work, I'll be doing some pit firings out here on my property and I will be hopefully sourcing some local clay. I've heard that there are some great clay deposits around this area.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
Kanimbla Clays pieces have a very delicate, natural, handmade feel whilst maintaining a high standard in quality.
Tell us a bit about your studio space (if you have images as well, that’d be great!)
My workshop is located out here on my property in Kanimbla. We were lucky enough to inherit a huge colourbond shed when we moved here. I was originally using just a small corner of the shed but as Kanimbla Clay is growing I have now taken over 2/3's of it. Im looking to renovate the old stable into a workshop and office, but thats next year.
Its been a real experience having my studio out here, I get so much wildlife through everyday. I grew up in a small vllage in the UK and the most exciting things I used to see were badgers and deer,I will never get tired of seeing a mob of female roo's with their joeys bounding past the workshop
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsmen (alive or dead) who would it be?
Andy Goldsworthy, I love the way he works with natural materials. He'll use thorns,twigs, weaving and abit of clever balancing instead of glue & nails to hold things together. I'd like to see how much of the forest is in his work space.
What hand held object do you cherish the most?
A hand painted and carved wooden horse from Sweden. It was my Nana's, and its a part of my memories of her.
What is next for Kanimbla Clay?
More homewares. More electric lights, and hopefully another kiln!
Breathing Colours Gallery, located at 446 Darling Street Balmain, showcases a new exhibition every two weeks.
Here you will find both group and solo shows in a variety of media from contemporary jewellery and objects through to large scale sculptures, paintings and prints.
Alongside the gallery, our permanent retail space showcases over 50 of our favourite Australian artists, designers and makers. Buy an original artwork from our extensive display, commission a unique piece from one of our many artists, or simply have a browse and enjoy the creative atmosphere .