In Conversation: Claymeraki
We have been lucky enough to welcome Gold Coast ceramicist Claymeraki to the Kira & Kira family. Crafting unique, one-of-a-kind pieces, Claymeraki creates functional art that is not only beautiful but also mindful of the impact we have on our planet.
Sourcing only organic Australian clay, each piece aims to remind you of the beauty and connection that exists in the natural world.
We sat down with Rachel, Founder of Claymeraki to chat about how the brand came to be, creative processes and the inspiration behind her latest collection.
Claymeraki is such an intriguing brand name. It might read differently on paper to most people - how should we be pronouncing it, and can you tell us a bit about how the brand (and the name) came to be?
Great question, and I have heard a lot of people say it differently which I love! It's pronounced clay-mer-ray-kee. The meaning behind ‘Meraki’ is derived from Greece, It's all about infusing your work with soul, creativity, and love; giving it that extra sprinkle of you.
I knew I wanted the brand to embody that idea, creating handmade ceramics that aren't just practical but also burst with creativity, fun, and functionality. And that's how the brand and its name came to life. It's a journey filled with passion, and I’m stoked with where it’s at today!
Where did you first discover your love for creating?
You know, the very first spark of creating my own ceramics happened while I was browsing through some beautiful local boutique homeware stores. I was totally captivated by all the unique handmade pieces on display. That was the "aha" moment for me, and I thought, "Why not give it a shot?"
So, I hopped on board with an online course that was like a ceramics crash course - it covered everything from A to Z about handbuilding your own ceramics. Once I got my hands on the tools, clay, and glaze, I was head over heels in love with this craft. It was like love at first touch.
Fast forward, and now I'm on this epic ceramics journey where I mix handbuilding and wheel throwing techniques to create something truly special. It's been a wild ride, and I'm loving every moment of it!
What does a day in the life of Rachel look like?
So, I kick off my day with either a walk around the Burleigh loop track or the gym, I’ve got to get the body moving before a full day of sitting and creating!
Once I'm all pumped up and ready to roll, I dive into my to-do list. Most days, it's all about creating two awesome pieces. That's where the magic happens with the clay. Then there's the ever-reliable computer, where I schedule posts for a week, or edit some content. Keeps the online side of things humming.
And of course, no day is complete without a quick dip in the ocean. It's my 'break' and a moment to recharge. So, you see, my days are a fun jumble of clay, creativity, and a dash of outdoor adventure.
Each one of your pieces is so intricate and unique. Who, where and/or what do you turn to for inspiration?
The inspiration for my tribal design pieces is like a journey to places like Egypt. For example, I take an image of an Egyptian figure and work my magic to create a mirrored design. The wide-angled arms on my vessels? That's where they come into play, adding that unique touch to each piece. It's like taking a little piece of Egypt and infusing it into my work.
Weaving holds a special place in my heart, and it's a craft that I've always felt deeply connected to. I've spent a good chunk of time in the South Pacific islands, and what really struck me was how the locals used the materials they had right at their fingertips to create functional pieces that helped them live simply and beautifully.
It's like they had this incredible ability to work with the land and its natural fibers, crafting things that were not just practical but also a reflection of their connection to the environment. That's where the art of weaving natural fibers comes into play in my work. It's a nod to the simplicity and resourcefulness that I've seen in those amazing island communities, and it's a tribute to their artistry in everyday life.
Sustainability is such a core part of your brand. What does your creative process look like and how do you incorporate sustainable practices?
Absolutely, sustainability is a core value for me. It's a driving force in everything I undertake. My creative process is all about keeping it straightforward and eco-friendly.
First off, let's talk about water. Instead of constantly running to the sink every ten minutes to refill my bowl or clean my tools, I've got this trusty bucket of water that lasts me an entire day. It's a game-changer in terms of water conservation.
Then there's the power. I'm conscious of the energy I use, especially when operating my wheel, which can be a real energy hog. So, as soon as I'm done, I make sure to switch off the main power.
Clay doesn't go to waste either. I'm all about reusing every little scrap, right down to those tiny, dusty particles. It's amazing how these bits can be transformed into new pieces of art, so there's zero wastage in my studio.
Lastly, when it comes to firing, I opt for a local kiln. It's a win-win situation. Every time the kiln roars to life, it's packed to the brim with pieces, ensuring no power is wasted on just a couple of items. Plus, it's a thumbs-up to our local pottery store, creating a supportive community loop. So, sustainability isn't just a word for me; it's a way of life.
We have just received some incredible pieces from your latest collection. Could you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the collection, and how you come up with your product names?
The idea for the Intertwined collection found its roots in the traditional weaving techniques of Lombok. I had this exciting vision of merging rattan, a wonderful natural material, with the handmade clay.
Now, let's talk about the Organic Allure collection. This one was all about embracing those tribal designs while infusing organic textures and colours into the clay bodies. It's like weaving the past and present together. The Organic Allure collection is a timeless ensemble of ceramics that effortlessly brings nature and purpose into harmony. Each piece captures the spirit of tradition while reimagining the norm.
And when it comes to naming each creation, I wanted each piece to have a character, a unique essence. Take, for example, the "Eutony Vase." It represents the pleasantness of a word's sound, creating a soothing feeling. Then there's the "Scintialla Candle," signifying a tiny flash or spark, a barely visible trace, much like the delicate scent it holds. Every name tells a story, adding depth and meaning to my creations.
If you had to describe the collections in 3 words, what would they be?
I would say… Eclectic, Timeless and Unique.
And if you had to pick a favourite from the collections, which one would you choose and why?
I'm absolutely smitten with the Saudade Vase. It grabs your gaze with its confident presence, and those intricate, scale-like embellishments running down its sides give it so much personality. I also love that this piece can pull double duty as both a pitcher and a vase, adding a dose of versatility to its charm.
What are you currently watching, reading and/or listening to?
When I'm in the mood to kick back, throw on my comfy clothes, and enjoy a Netflix binge, the Beckham Series is my top pick at the moment.
Explore the Claymeraki Range here!