Local ceramicists Brooke Thorn, Chela Edmunds and Tao Oudomvilay met whilst sharing a combined studio space in North Melbourne. Each have worked previously in various design professions. Chela’s background is in textile design, working in New York (re-visit out recent interview with Chela here), and both Tao and Brooke have worked as interior designers in Melbourne (Tao most recently at Six Degrees and Brooke at Hecker Guthrie, Kerry Phelan Design Office and Hassell). Just THINK about the combined skill-set going on here, people!
Brooke has been making ceramics for five years, and launched her business (Brooke Thorn Handmade Ceramics) in October 2013 after a year in development. Chela’s business Takeawei has also been running since 2013, and Tao is currently studying ceramics at Tafe and is soon to launch her own ceramics business.
The impetus for opening a retail store originally came about after Brooke, Chela and Tao ran a number of successful ‘Open Studio’ days at their previous shared ceramics studio.
‘Everytime we had one of these open studio events, we talked about having a permanent retail space to showcase all of the ceramics from the artists who work in our shared space’ explains Brooke. The idea sat on the backburner until Chela saw a ‘for lease’ sign in a cute North Melbourne shop, not far from their studio. ‘We each had an interest in collaborating to start the business, and our previous professional and design skills complemented each other, so we thought we’d give it a go!’.
Once they’d secured the lease, the development time for the actual shop was really fast – about 6 weeks! ‘Once we decided to take on the lease, it was all on’ says Brooke. The trio spoke to their other studio mates about stocking their work, and approached a number of other local makers. Tao worked on the shop design, and a talented friend (carpenter and craftsman Simon Robinson) helped out with fitting out the shop, which amazingly happened in just one day! Brooke taught herself how to use Shopify, and set up the website in a few weeks. (And it’s a really slick-looking site!).
As well as stocking their own creations, Guild of Objects stocks a host of other beautiful pieces by other local makers. These include ceramics by Tessy King, Jessilla Rogers and Alison Frith amongst many other, a sweet edit of clothing by local designers including Primozea, inside/outside and S U N D A Y, jewellery by Seb Brown, Ellinor Mazza and Melanie Rice, hanging planters and lights by Smalltown, and rope vessels by Gemma Patford.
Guild of Objects are also running small, social workshops in their new space, for people who want to try out different types of making in the form of relaxed ‘crafternoon’ (or craft-evening) sessions. Right now they’re offering ceramics classes by both Chela Edmunds and Jessilla Rogers, with more classes and workshops to come over the coming months.
Guild of Objects
690 Queensberry Street
North Melbourne, Victoria
Open Thursday and Friday 11.00am to 6.00pm, and Saturday 10.00am to 5.00pm.