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Inside The Charming Studio Of Ceramicist + Flower Farmer, Janae Paquin-Bowden

Studio Visit

After years of potting in her spare time, flower farmer Janae Paquin-Bowden of Fleurs de Lyonville, is finally adding a long-awaited feather in her cap; full-time ceramicist.

Janae’s charming garden studio sits in the middle of her flower farm, and serves as the ultimate space for inspiration in the creation of her colourful, hand-built pieces. We recently stopped by for  visit!

3rd May, 2022

French doors have been installed horizontally and repurposed as windows in Janae Paquin-Bowden’s studio. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Ceramicist and flower farmer Janae Paquin-Bowden in her Daylesford studio. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Janae’s mother-in-law made the bold orange and white striped curtains for her work bench! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The green wall panelling is recycled cool room insulation. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Janae’s studio is located in the middle of her flower farm, Fleurs de Lyonville, 20 metres from her home. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Janae hand-builds her pieces. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Her candlesticks and 2D vases are inspired, in part, by vintage flower pots. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

‘My ceramics career has really only been ‘happening’ for the last six months’, says Janae. ‘it has been a life-changing dream come true.’ Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

A concrete basin rescued from her cousin’s horse paddock sits on recycled bricks. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Janae is thrilled to finally be able to take on ceramics as her full-time winter job, when the demands of the flower farm subside. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Bea Taylor
Tuesday 3rd May 2022

Ceramicist Janae Paquin-Bowden has been creating with clay since her primary school days. Many of these early pieces are still scattered around – or should we say, ‘featured in’ – her parents’ garden. In her 20s, Janae joined various pottery clubs, and in 2011 she graduated from La Trobe University with a Visual Arts degree, majoring in ceramics. 

Yet, despite this early lead into a career in ceramics, it’s only in the last six months that she’s established pottery as her full-time gig. 

‘I completed my degree before moving on to become a primary school teacher, and then onto starting our flower farm,’ Janae explains. ‘My ceramics had previously been something to do on the side to keep my hands busy and my heart full.’ Now, with a new kiln and a charming garden studio, she finally has time to indulge in her oldest passion. 

‘It’s now my full-time winter job,’ she says. ‘Flower farming in the warmer months, and pottery in the cooler months. It’s a dream that has been gradually developing over 10 years.’

While being a ceramicist in a garden studio – in winter! – might sound like a recipe for cold feet and numb hands, Janae assures us this is not the case, thanks to a roaring wood fire and, of course, the kiln (which reaches temperatures above 1000 degrees celsius when in use). 

Her studio, named ‘La Cachette’ (the hideaway), which began life as a basic shed, has received a charming renovation at the hands of Janae’s dad. The pair used as many recycled materials as possible for this project; there’s second-hand French doors with beveled glass that have been installed horizontally as windows, a concrete sink rescued from Janae’s cousin’s horse paddock, and forest green wall paneling, which are actually recycled cool room panels for insulation. 

La Cachette sits in the middle of Janae’s flower farm, Fleurs de Lyonville, which delivers constant inspiration for her ceramic work. ‘I often design a vase with a certain flower in mind. I consider the stem length, flower head size and how they will sit in the vase,’ she explains. 

Janae’s hand-built vases and candlesticks are etched naively to resemble vintage vessels, emerging from the kiln in various cheerful hues.  Created with the belief that flowers and pottery go hand-in-hand, it seems that Janae has finally found her groove.

Keep an eye out for Janae’s work on her Instagram.

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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. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net