During artist Rose Jensen-Holm’s second trip to Bellagio, Italy, she stumbled upon a small gallery/studio filled with the most beautiful ceramics she had ever seen. It belonged to Magda Guaitamacchi, potter and gallerist. Rose was nurturing an interest in ceramics, and Magda’s story resonated: she had started her ceramics journey at the age of 40, and now at 86 was still throwing, firing large scale works, running a gallery, and sending pieces around the world.
In her early 30s at the time, Rose was ‘totally inspired’. She had always been encouraged to explore different creative pathways growing up with her art teacher mother on Queensland’s picturesque Sunshine Coast. Italy proved a catalyst for a range of new ideas: ‘I thought that nothing could rival the inspiration of the ocean meeting the sand on a beach at home, however Italy’s diverse Mediterranean landscape, and the laid-back Italian lifestyle have become a new and complementary source of inspiration.’
After her serendipitous initial meeting with Magda, Rose returned home to Australia, and began her own ceramic journey. In the intervening years she has developed a distinct ‘voice’ in clay (and has returned to visit Magda!). ‘My work is inspired by the surfaces of the natural landscape as well as the ancient vestiges of faraway civilisations,’ Rose explains. Her process involves handbuilding and throwing, using a mixture of stoneware and porcelain clays to create varied surfaces. Rose has also developed a signature carving style and enjoys intuitively layering glazes on her organic-shaped, textural serving platters, tableware and jewellery.
It’s important to Rose that her pieces are functional, mainly for the sake of good food: ‘There is nothing quite like serving food in hand-built objects that reflect a love of artistic and culinary creativity.’ The Italian influence is ever-present!
On Rose’s dedicated ‘clay days’ (she also has another part-time job) she puts a temporary surface on the kitchen bench where she can shape, carve and refine her work, and a trestle table on her verandah where she can glaze. ‘It means I don’t need to pay for a studio space and I’m surrounded by all the objects I’ve collected that inspire me.’
Rose is thrilled to have her first solo show at Paper Boat Press, a gallery and workshop the artist holds dear: ‘My collection for Impressio captures, reflects, and sculpts the stories from a life of experiences, with landscapes both near and far.’