Georgie Moyes is a Melbourne-based ceramicist, utilising hand-building techniques and the wheel to make pieces inspired by the natural world. Harmony and balance are at the forefront of her work as she makes larger pieces which challenge ideas of function and purpose.
We are so excited to be showing Georgie’s work in a joint exhibition with Claire Lehmann entitled 573° this month at Guild of Objects from November 17–19.
Please come help us celebrate the launch of Georgie and Claire’s exhibition at a special preview on Thursday November 17 from 5–8pm.
Can you please tell us a little about yourself and your craft?
I live in Coburg, which isn’t too far from my studio in North Melbourne where I practise ceramics. I feel lucky to say that I spent my earlier years growing up in Warrandyte on a large property with farmland and creeks nearby. I always spent a lot of time outdoors in the garden searching for blue tongues and absorbing as much of my mum’s knowledge about plants as I could! After finishing high school, I started studying psychology but realised it wasn’t for me and decided to take some time out to travel. When I came back I did some short courses in dressmaking and sewing, and I then started taking ceramics classes at Carlton Arts Centre and my interest in clay just kept evolving. Now I am finishing my Diploma of Ceramics at Holmesglen Tafe.
When and how did you first get interested in ceramics?
I guess it’s really been embedded in me and something I’ve appreciated for a long time. My mum and my uncle have such an eye for one-off pieces and beautiful antiques. When I visit my mum’s house now, I spend ages looking through all of her knick knacks and the precious things she’s collected over the years – a lot of which are ceramics! My uncle has always given me the most incredible gifts. Everything has always felt like a treasure from another land! So I’ve always had a great appreciation for ceramics and handmade things. My gran also used to make ceramics at Potters Cottage in Warrandyte and she still has a number of the beautiful pieces she made with glazes she formulated herself. So naturally my mother enrolled me in weekend ceramic classes around the age of 11.
Can you describe the early days of setting up your business?
I initially started taking throwing classes at Carlton Arts Centre. I loved these classes, because I was just happy to be making something with my hands. I wasn’t doing it for an outcome, it was just to play and be immersed in something new. Though I soon realised ceramics can’t just be a casual affair, it demands attention and perseverance. I became obsessed with the process, and how much you really have to nurture your work if you want it to make it. It was all a lesson in patience and practising non-attachment. I was going 3-4 times a week, but I wanted more. I needed to know more about hand-building and glazes, which lead me look into Holmesglen. At the moment I’m trying less to focus on the outcome – whether a piece will be functional, where I imagine it to be placed or how it fits into the world, and instead to just feel it out and be open to things changing along the way. Since the start of the year, I’ve been lucky enough to gain a studio space with other potters and shared equipment, which has been amazing! It’s so good to be surrounded by people who are using the same medium but in so many varied ways.
What does a typical day look like for you?
At the moment I can’t go a day without yoga, and I can’t go a day without time in my garden. These two things are crucial to my productivity and joy. Usually I’m up and in the garden by 8am and at the studio by 10am – coffee in hand and listening to PBS Radio. I’ll usually sit around on Instagram for a while and then go over what I did the day before, and plan what to do for the day. I’m currently building a lot of larger vessels. Usually around 3pm, Claire (my studio wife) and I have a brie and cheddar break, then we’ll get a second wind for a few more hours or it’s time to head home. After a day at the studio I head to yoga, and then it’s home to slay all the snails and slugs in the veggie garden.
Where/what do you draw inspiration from?
Mainly island life, tropical living, tropical plants, tropical animals, tropical beauties, tropical feelings. My happiness is heavily synced with how much time I spend around nature, so I draw a lot of inspiration from the natural world and living within our means alongside nature. I love to look back in time at how ancient cultures used ceramics in ritual and offerings.
The value and worth placed upon objects and belongings inspires me to make. I love how simple things like a stone or seed can resonate with me so much, so I try to make things with this in mind, that everything is special. But there are a number of artists who really inspire me – Maria Gazzard is one with her beautiful forms, as well as paintings by Paul Gauguin. Also the ceramic works of Salvatore Fiume – so dreamy! And the forms of Ancient Grecian urns and all the treasures from the Aegean Sea.
If you could do anything tomorrow what would you do?
As disgusting as it sounds, I’d probably elope to an island in the Caribbean with my boyfriend.
If you could teach your kids one thing, what would it be?
How to grow food!
What are you reading at the moment?
Island by Aldous Huxley, and my god it’s good!
If we rummaged through your grocery bag, what would we find?
Bonsoy, Derry-O organic brie, liquorice, sweet potato (ALWAYS), tahini, dates and vermicelli.
Can you tell us the first thing that pops into your mind when we mention the word …
People: rather not
What’s one thing you can’t live without at the moment?
What are your words of wisdom?
Trust that every little thing that happens (good or bad) is leading you to where you want to be.
Find Georgie on Instagram.