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Saya Woman Series #6 | Kim Wallace

Saya Woman Series #6 | Kim Wallace

The Saya® Woman is an interview series showcasing extraordinary women who share their experience, insights and advice to life, business and everything in between. We hope their stories inspire you as much as they inspire us.

More than a decade ago, Kim Wallace decided to swap her desk job for an apron, and has been happily elbow-deep in mud ever since. Dedicating herself to designing and handcrafting beautiful, high-quality ceramics, this marked the beginning of Kim Wallace Ceramics. Over the years, Kim's ceramics have been used and adored by some of Australia’s most esteemed chefs and venues, including iconic locations such as The Opera House, Ricky’s Noosa, Masterchef Australia, Aria Sydney, Cape Lodge Margaret River, and many more. Kim's passion lies in inspiring beautiful gatherings with loved ones.  

In this exclusive interview, Kim candidly opens up about her journey leading up to the establishment of Kim Wallace Ceramics, the ceramic traditions that have influenced her designs, and her sources of inspiration when she’s feeling uninspired.

 

 

 

 

Tell us about your journey leading up to the start of Kim Wallace Ceramics? 

I was a graphic designer by trade and really loved my job. However after a decade in the industry I was getting a little tired of being glued to the computer all day, and wanted to work more with my hands again. I started to dabble in all sorts of arts, painting, lino, clay. Just having fun creating again. I started doing some monthly markets with all the items I made and the ceramics got a lot of interest, and I loved creating them. Possibly because it was so far away from creating 2D designs on the computer. My customer base grew slowly over time and I started working with retail shops and restaurants, and slowly but surely what started out in the corner of my townhouse garage, has now morphed into a commercial space in Noosa with a team of 7, supplying customer direct online and some of the best shops and restaurants around the country!

 

 

 

 

Are there any artists, designers or ceramic traditions that have influenced your work? 

My ceramic journey started with our Vintage Lace Collection, where we press vintage lace doilies into the clay to imprint the pattern. This is a very old technique for adding texture to the clay, and so many things can be used ~ leaves / twigs / shells / fabrics / stamps. It's about finding that perfect piece that will leave a nice imprint whilst still having a good balance of light & shade ~ for example I might choose not to cover the entire platter in the lace doily pattern but leave some white space for balance. How we finish the edges also plays an important part, we often add details to the rims to finish the piece of beautifully. Whilst the Vintage Lace Collection has evolved over time, it is still one of our core collections and holds a special place for me.

 


Do you have a favourite step in the ceramic making process? 

Glazing is one of my favourite parts, it is very meditative and you can get lost in thoughts just running the glaze over the piece with the brush. It is methodical and quite specific how the glaze gets applied, and how thick to get the right results. You have to be both accurate in application yet also go by feel, for example on a hot day the glaze might dry quicker so you have to be aware of these little changes and adjust accordingly.

 

 

 

 

What has been the most personally rewarding experience for you since starting your business back in 2008? 

Supplying some of Australia's best restaurants suh as Aria, Ricky's, Lanai, the Spicers Group and Peppers Noosa would be some of my proudest moments. Never would I have thought my ceramics would feature there. I love working with chefs, they are all incredibly passionate and share the love for their craft like we do our ceramics. Having our ceramics used on Masterchef for the judges share plates and contestant feature plates would definitely also be up there ~ to know that some of the most famous chefs in the world have held our pieces is pretty special. This also holds a special place in my heart as I used to watch Masterchef with my late mum a lot, and I told her at the time that one day my plates would be on the show (not truly believing it). She never got to see it but she would have told the world about it today.

 

 

 

 

If you’re feeling stuck, or uninspired, where do you go to find inspiration?  

Nature is my first go to. Many of our shapes and colours are inspired by our beautiful surroundings. Our pebble plates are organically shaped, our layered finished such as Everglades and Rockpool all remind me of the beautiful nature elements. 

 

What would your perfect day in Noosa look like? 

Sunny, nice cool breeze, picnic by the river, long lunches with friends. It's a beautiful place to live and work!

 

What’s next for Kim Wallace?

We are loving what we are doing at the moment, creating our beautiful tableware and gifts and seeing how happy it makes our customers to bring some pieces home. We are very excited to be delving into several collaborations at the moment, working on small furniture items with a local furniture maker, and jewellery display pieces.

 

 

 

 

Granite Bay Scented Candle - In collaboration with Kim Wallace Ceramics. 

 

This earthy, textured ceramic candle vessel has been carefully crafted by hand in Noosa by Kim Wallace Ceramics, designed to use long after your candle has melted away. Made from 100% natural olive oil wax and infused with pure botanical essential oils of calming cypress, purifying sage and refreshing seasalt. 

 

Limited vessels available - Discover now.

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