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Melbourne's Newest Ceramicist To Covet & Collect : Ella Reweti

Studio Visit

With restrictions in Victoria now lifted, one of the best pieces of news to come our way is that artists and makers are allowed back into their studios. Cheers to that!

On the home front, this also means TDF can resume our popular Studio Visits, a column dedicated to meeting local creatives in their places of work, and get down to the nitty gritty of their practices.

First on the list is Ella Reweti, a Melbourne-based ceramicist making distinctive vessels that we’ve been coveting all year!

2nd November, 2020

Inside the earthy Preston studio of ceramicist Ella Reweti. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Her soft, ridged vases and planters are her signature form! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Ceramicist, Ella Reweti. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Her vessels are made using a slipcasting process, ensuring fluid, organic forms are turned out every time. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Ella is inspired by architectural forms, a geometry she tempers with the soft palette of the Australian bush. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Sun-bathed vessels in progress. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

With the recent restriction ease, Ella can get back into her gorgeous, light-filled studio in Preston. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Firing the vessels before they are glazed. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

‘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,’ says Ella. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

from blush pink to pistachio, the pastel-hued bodies vary in size, shape, colour and function. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Sasha Gattermayr
Monday 2nd November 2020

‘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 Reweti

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!

Like what you see? Check out more of Ella’s work on pepite and Makers’ Mrkt.

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The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.