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Milly Dent

Craft

Today our Sydney contributor, Amber Creswell Bell introduces us to ceramicist Milly Dent, who completed her studies only last year, and whose distinctive handcrafted vessels have already gained great notoriety – not to mention a seriously impressive instagram following!  Milly’s business philosophy is based upon the simple ideal of ‘putting beautiful, functional, thoughtful and unique pieces of handmade design into the world’, with the intention to make daily dining rituals interesting and exciting.

8th December, 2014
Amber Creswell Bell
Monday 8th December 2014

Sydney ceramicist Milly Dent completed her studies in 2013, graduating from COFA with a Bachelor of Design, and launching her own studio, Milly Dent Design, in April of this year.  With her distinctive style and colour palette, Milly’s brand has quickly gained momentum. ‘It has been a whirlwind experience as more and more people have shown an interest in my work’ says Milly. The momentum is really what’s driving me!’ she says.

After school, feeling an inherent desire  to ‘make’, Milly moved herself from Brisbane to Sydney to complete her studies. ‘I started working with clay and everything fell into place. Using the material was intriguing and exciting, and I enjoyed exploring both the possibilities and limitations,’ she says.

It was a six-month study sojourn to Montreal following her degree where Milly discovered an appreciation for the true capacity of clay, and expanded her style with this new and different perspective. Returning to Sydney, she knew she wanted to keep making. ‘I found myself a small studio space, and from there Milly Dent Design grew,’ she explains.

Milly’s business philosophy is based upon the simple ideal of ‘putting beautiful, functional, thoughtful and unique pieces of handmade design into the world’, with the intention to make daily dining rituals interesting and exciting. Her creative process is intuitive and unpredictable, as it employs a mix of techniques. ‘I find myself taking a lot of photographs of objects, shapes and heaps of images of the ocean, prior to initial sketching and mood-boarding to find forms, colours and textures to use. Moulds are then made of existing forms, or of forms I have carved myself from plaster’ Milly says. ‘The marbling part of the process is very fluid… Even if it means a lot of disasters before one success, that make the success all the more rewarding!’ she says.

It’s been a big year for Milly, but in 2015, even bigger plans are afoot.  ‘I’m super excited about my new range, which will hopefully be released at the beginning of 2015’ she explains.  ‘This range further explores the translucency and glow of porcelain, and includes bigger, more ambitious entertaining-type tableware pieces’ Milly says.  In the future, she’s hoping to expand her use of materials to include precious metals, wood and textiles… we can’t wait to see what comes next!

Ceramicist Milly Dent in her Sydney studio.   Photo – Rachel Kara for The Design Files.

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