13 Exciting Australian Ceramicists to Follow on Instagram
On Instagram, ceramicists are a celebrated lot. They document their work on their accounts, from concept to completion, and inspire thousands of followers to invest in unique ceramic objects for their homes.
Textured and tactile, ceramics are an ideal focal point to any shared living space or the perfect accompaniment in your solo sanctuary. Set beside the bed on a nightstand or sturdy plinth, a unique ceramic sculpture or mini planter makes waking up that much more pleasant. They're more versatile than wall art, requiring just a flat surface, and they're able to make an impact while taking up relatively little space.
There are many ceramicists on Instagram to follow these days, including ceramicists from all over the world, but we wanted to celebrate the homegrown artists working in Australia and New Zealand. From experienced ceramicists to emerging creatives, such as Jan Vogelpoel, Sophie Nolan, Natalie Rosin and Susan Christie, these are our favourite Australians creating sculpted magic with their own two hands.
Here are 13 Australian ceramicists you should be following—and shopping—on Instagram.
13 Australian Ceramicists to Follow on Instagram
Tantri Mustika makes ceramic homewares and functional sculptural pieces and is most commonly recognised for her colourful terrazzo inspired finishes and clay marbling. "I started making ceramics as a way to combat day-to-day stress and anxiety," she told us when we toured her studio apartment. "I can be quite frantic, so I find that making with my hands really grounds me when things feel like they are a bit all over the place. I would say for me, making things with my hands is almost a method of active meditation."
2. Jessica Choi
Jessica Choi never thought her hobby would turn into her main source of income when she enrolled in a community pottery course in 2016. The then-production coordinator simply saw ceramics as a creative way to pass the time. During lockdown in 2020, the Melbourne-based creative started to take her ceramics more seriously, and decided to take a leap of faith by selling her pieces. Inspired by the fluidity of clay, her soft, earthy-toned pieces are equal parts delicate and strong; fluid and bold, and it's these same traits you can see echoed throughout her newly-renovated Melbourne home.
Sydney-based ceramicist Natalie Rosin is inspired by architectural landscapes, creating vessels and objects in a creamy colour palette in unexpected shapes. The graduate architect aims to provide accessible art and design to likeminded people who appreciate the art-form. On her highly aesthetic Instagram account, Natalie curates her work and her inspiration, making clear the connection she sees between ceramics and architecture.
This South Africa-born Brit has called New Zealand home for many years and has a wildly interesting backstory. After beginning her working life in the New Zealand Navy, she then became a psychologist, then a mother, then a business consultant, before enrolling to study fine arts at university. A year after she graduated, she started Formantics, a functional art practice offering ceramics, planters, paintings, and more. Formantics is a whimsical world of colour, with ceramic creations in muted neutrals and playfully patterned springtime hues.
UK-born, South Africa-raised, Melbourne-based artist Jan Vogelpoel creates modern heirlooms in her ceramic art. Her sculpted tiles and striking sculptures cut a more refined finish deserving of pride of place in any home. "I have a passion for the process of bringing an idea to life through building sculptural pieces that carry the energy of nature and the maker, which I find grounding and challenging, but ultimately rewarding," Jan told us when we toured her incredible 1960s-inspired Melbourne home. "The challenge of the build, the shaping and refining, the photography, and then finally letting my sculptures go all speak to different aspects of my personality. It’s a beautiful cycle and stimulates my creative monster."
6. Sophie Nolan
Sophie Nolan creates unusual shapes that calm the senses, in a pared-back range of white and pastel. For Sophie, her ceramic creations have personalities: "Some have a subtle soft elegant essence, a lightness, a fragility," she told us during her Makers home tour interview. "Others are more flamboyant, sassy, strong, or cute, quirky and fun." Her one-of-a-kind pieces conjure a sense of movement and lightness—a magical feat considering the heavy clay medium in which she works.
Adelaide-based Katia Carletti plays with geometric shapes and lots of speckled texture in her ceramic wares, with tens of thousands of Instagram followers obsessed with her feel-good approach. Her sun wall-hanging is like a 3D emoji for your balcony wall. Katia makes all of her work using a hand-built pinching technique in her home studio, and reduction fired stoneware. She's inspired by the patterns found in nature, folk art, and the simple utilitarian need for vessels in the home. As a bonus for her followers, she regularly shares updates of her gorgeous family and their two fluffy pet rabbits.
This Melbourne-based textile designer makes minimalist clay lamps that celebrate the magic of light and shadow. A newcomer to ceramics, Sarah burst onto the scene only in 2018, and now her 'Lady' lamps and sculptures are all made to order, making them that much more special. Follow her on Instagram to see her work in the studio and in-situ, plus the occasional peek at her mood boards.
9. Milly Dent
Sydney-based artist Milly Dent takes an unconventional approach to ceramics, with her chiseled vases made from old moulds and added texture creating light and shadow detail. Milly uses small-scale production methods as well as marbling and geometric pattern work, achieving a truly unique offering of tableware. She's inspired by the natural world and aims to create unusual but functional pieces, and regularly shows her work at Saint Cloche in Sydney's east.
10. Jade Thorsen
Based in Melbourne, Jade Thorsen originally studied industrial design and now works out of a Melbourne studio creating wheel-thrown wares that are immediately utilitarian, but also stunning to the eye and touch. On Instagram, Jade captures her work and her environment, with each post showing off dreamy inner-suburban vignettes.
11. Kirsten Perry
Melbourne-based Kirsten Perry's ceramics are inherently playful, and we are forever obsessed with her 'Open to Divine' catch-all—a pleated, wide-mouthed bowl on a stand that would make the perfect coffee table centrepiece in any home. Kirsten has a background in gold and silversmithing, industrial design, and multimedia, and it shows. The self-taught ceramicist imagines her works as living organisms "from a planet far away". She continues: "The bio-morphic objects I create are initially carved from disposable materials such as foam and cardboard, then translated into ceramic," she says. "Something is gained in this translation; somehow more than the evidence of my process, such as the hope and joy that difference can offer."
12. Ella Bendrups
Melbourne-based ceramic artist Ella Bendrups currently offers a refined range of tall, textured, handled vessels inspired by Ancient Greek artefacts. Each of her collections is created in her home studio, with her creating one small group of related pieces at a time. After studying communication design and interior design, she took up ceramics as a hobby in 2015 and continues to grow her self-led explorative practice.
13. Kate Brouwer
Inspired by Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging, this Melbourne-based artist creates textural vessels under the name Asobimasu Clay. She uses a combination of wheel throwing and hand-building. "Clay has so many challenges," she told The Design Files. "It’s a beautiful end process that has so many precarious steps." Kate is also the founder of Bisque Studios, the stunning shared workspace at which she creates her incredible art.