Mali Taylor says her ceramics practice is more than just her creative outlet – it’s a space to heal.
It was only after the Melbourne based creative was diagnosed with endometriosis, following years of chronic undiagnosed symptoms, that she decided to turn her passion into a small business.
‘It allows me to pursue my love for ceramics in a flexible environment that accommodates for the challenges of living with endometriosis,’ Mali explains.
Mali’s organic pieces are are also heavily inspired by the colours, textures and sculptural forms found in the natural world, in addition to her experiences as a child growing up in Northern New South Wales.
‘Growing up I spent a lot of time in the garden with my family, and swimming with friends in dams where we would cover ourselves head to toe in the soft squishy mud found at the bottom of the dam,’ Mali says.
‘I think these experiences are some of the reasons I love putting my hands in mud every day, there’s just something so wholesome about getting your hands dirty!’
‘When I found coiling I was inspired by dendrochronology (the study of tree rings), ripples in water and strata levels exposed in cliff faces and mountain ranges’ Mali adds.’ I love the idea that just like strata levels and dendrochronology map the history of the natural environment, my coils map my inner state of mind.’
Mali’s process is slow, methodical and extremely repetitive, as she hand rolls each tiny coil and gradually stacks coil on top of coil. Impressively, she says this technique has become ‘muscle memory’ for her over the past five years. And – as her practice grows, she’s outgrown her studio! After a year in her current home studio (a spare bedroom in her Brunswick East share house) she’s on the hunt for a new space to call home.
In light of the devastating floods affecting Mali’s home region in NSW, Mali has decided to donate 10 per cent of all sales this month to local community organisation Revive the Northern Rivers, who are currently providing essential aid to the area.
You can shop Mali’s creations here, and keep your eyes peeled to her Instagram for details on her clay-building classes at James Lemon’s studio!