This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Ruby Pilven

Craft

24-year-old ceramicist Ruby Pilven is impressive. Having studied both Visual arts and Business at Monash University in Melbourne, she’s one of the few small scale crafters who has managed to cultivate a full time creative practice almost immediately after graduating from her studies.

Ruby’s distinctive ceramic vessels are created using coloured clay rather than coloured glazes, and have caught the eye of numerous stockists both here and abroad.  We recently caught up with Ruby in her studio in Smythes Creek, just outside Ballarat.

20th April, 2015

Recently a group of my friends and I did a pottery course, and let me tell you it was hard. Our initial excitement, the obligatory Ghost references, and ambitious goals of making an entire dinner set quickly faded, and were replaced by a random cluster of wonky salt dishes and vases, the type you would possibly give your Mum, but would never consider giving to a friend. It’s not surprising that I’ve since developed an even greater respect for ceramicists, and especially so for 24-year-old potter Ruby Pilven.

Working out of her studio in Smythes Creek just outside Ballarat, Ruby makes her range of hand built ceramic and porcelain jewellery, vases, and homewares using coloured clay with gold lustres.  Ruby comes from a family of potters, her parents Jane and Peter Pilven are local respected ceramicists in the community, and Ruby now shares their studio. ‘I’ve always been surrounded by ceramics in some way, whether it was playing in the studio, watching my parents making pots, attending exhibitions or visiting fellow potter friends,’ says Ruby.

Graduating from a double degree at Monash University in Visual Arts and Business, Ruby says the course had the best of both worlds, as she was able to practice her art while develop marketing skills to promote her fledging homewares business. ‘Once I completed my degree, I participated in a few group exhibitions and explored different methods of making my work,’ says Ruby. ‘It was during this time that my new colourful jewellery and homewares range was born.’ Ruby has been steadily working on this range for the past three years, has gathered an impressive list of national stockists, and is currently working nearly full-time in the studio. ‘I’m in heaven,’ she says.

Ruby’s work references a Japanese pottery technique called Nerikomi, which means to hand build with coloured clay. She builds all of her pieces using porcelain and stoneware clay bodies, flattens the clay on a slab roller, then sculpts them into the desired form, while integrating colourful patterns and gold lustres. Influenced by her Mother’s use of colour and her Father’s gold lustre work in the 1980’s, and numerous ceramic artists including Sony Manning and David Pottinger, Ruby says her greatest thrill is when the final patterns in her works are revealed after firing.  ‘There’s an element of surprise every time’ Ruby admits.

This year Ruby plans to expand her ceramics range, exhibit her work and save up for her long awaited 2016 pottery voyage! ‘I can’t wait for my pottery nerd adventure in 2016 to the UK, where I will make a pilgrimage to St Ives to visit The Leach Pottery and the Victoria and Albert Museum’ says says.

Ruby’s work can be bought in her online shop, or at stockists listed here.

View Comments

Similar Stories

Art

An Exhibition Of Never-Before-Seen Works By Mirka Mora

The new exhibition at Heide Museum of Modern Art, 'Mirka Mora: Pas de Deux – Drawings and Dolls', exploring the artist's enchanting univer...

Creative People

'Australis' By Abby Seymour

A new collection of delicate jewellery, inspired by a yearning to connect to the land.

Studio Visit

The Self-Taught Marquetry Artist Carving A Niche In Brisbane

From the tray that started it all to Tuareg jewellery, Brisbanian Dagmar Maini reflects on her path to woodcraft.
Elle Murrell

This Week

Architecture

A Sustainable Home, Designed To Connect To Community

The sunny and generous renovation of a California Bungalow in Northcote, by Gardiner Architects.
Miriam McGarry

News

A Month-Long Third Drawer Down x David Shrigley Pop-Up

This decade-long collaboration between Melbourne’s kookiest gift store and the renowned artist is open for business!
Sally Tabart

Interiors

Stand-Out Kitchens To Inspire

Kitchen ideas and inspiration from our interiors columnist, Lauren Li.
Lauren Li

On The Market

One Of Fitzroy’s Most Iconic Homes Is On The Market

Your chance to see inside (and maybe own!) the most intriguing house on the street!

News

Have You Ever Secretly Wondered…What IS Mid-Century Modern?

A visual guide to a celebrated era of design ‘From A To Eames’ by Lauren Whybrow and illustrations by Tom Jay.
Miriam McGarry

In Print

A New Monograph Celebrating One Of Australia's Most Captivating Female Artists

As the new book series Mini Monographs hits shelves, we offer a look inside the first volume, honouring bold painter Del Kathryn Barton.
Sarah Darmody

Studio Visit

New Work From A Favourite Local Artist, Super-Charged With Colour + Pattern

Melbourne-based artist Gavin Brown opens a new exhibition of works today, inspired by the sights, flavours, and moods of travels through Asi...
Elle Murrell

News

A Unique New Line Of Meticulously Handwoven Bags

Introducing George – a limited collection of bags exploring the relationship between object, material, and human interaction.
Sally Tabart

Sustainability

These Australian-Made Blankets Close The Loop On Textile Industry Waste

Sustainable start-up Seljak turns textile offcuts bound for landfill into high-quality merino blankets, at the country’s last remaining wo...
Elle Murrell

Homes

From Caterpillar To Butterfly - A Truly Transformed Home!

Take a tour through the incredible Sydney home Terri Winter of top3 by design shares with her family.
Lucy Feagins
  19 hours ago

Art

The Local Gallery That's ‘Light Years’ Ahead

Sydney’s Michael Reid Gallery celebrates lightbox photography with a pioneering new exhibition.
Elle Murrell
  9 hours ago

Architecture

The Ultimate Heritage Restoration Project, On Remote Bruny Island

John Wardle Architects masterfully restore Captain James Kelly's 175-year-old cottage off Tasmania's South Coast.

Interiors

The Winners Of The Belle Coco Republic Interior Design Awards

Take a deep dive into the Belle Coco Republic Interior Design Awards for 2019, announced last night in Sydney.
Lucy Feagins
  11 hours ago
45:53

Podcast

TDF Talks With Award-Winning Magazine Editor Justine Cullen

The mum-of-four reflects on her career, the state of the Australian fashion industry, and the future of magazine publishing.

Architecture

A House Revived From The 1990s

CO-AP Architects boldly re-imagine a 1990s semi-detached home in Balmain, Sydney.
Miriam McGarry

Similar Stories

Art

An Exhibition Of Never-Before-Seen Works By Mirka Mora

The new exhibition at Heide Museum of Modern Art, 'Mirka Mora: Pas de Deux – Drawings and Dolls', exploring the artist's enchanting univer...

Creative People

'Australis' By Abby Seymour

A new collection of delicate jewellery, inspired by a yearning to connect to the land.

Studio Visit

The Self-Taught Marquetry Artist Carving A Niche In Brisbane

From the tray that started it all to Tuareg jewellery, Brisbanian Dagmar Maini reflects on her path to woodcraft.
Elle Murrell