Ella Reweti is a failed academic, if ‘failure’ actually means discovering your real passion.
‘I did my postgraduate studies in anthropology, eventually landing a PhD scholarship,’ she explains of her life before ceramics. ‘It was during that time that I started dabbling in ceramics, making wonky little pinch pots for my friends.’
When the PhD didn’t work out, Ella scored a job as a pottery assistant, and discovered her love for handcrafting pieces. Slowly but surely, she built up her skills working for other makers, but it wasn’t until she had her baby (now 15-month old, Hemi!) that she had the opportunity to really invest in her own practice.
It was during this period that she had the freedom to fully inhabit her own ideas, and Ella developed the signature shape of her vessels. Her distinctive range of vases and planters vary by height and colour, but all present the same surface of soft, corrugated forms, which cast an exquisite ridged silhouette.
‘I love the corrugated form in particular because on the one hand it’s so quintessentially industrial yet, on the other hand, is found everywhere in nature,’ Ella explains. These repeating, geometric patterns are the hallmark of her work, balanced by a soft colour palette inspired by the Australian bush. The resulting forms are fresh, unique and totally mesmerising.
These wonderfully precise, undulating vessels are made using a slipcasting process which, up until the last few months, Ella completed in her light-filled Preston studio. But during the recent lockdown period, her makeshift workspace has been in a lean-to shed in her backyard!
Despite some setbacks in 2020 (including a dream public art project in Perth that fell through with the onset of the pandemic), Ella has found the extra time to develop her practice an unexpected bonus.
‘This is the first time (maybe ever!) that I’ve not had to supplement my income with a job in hospitality, and that feels really good.’ Go Ella!