Unbeknownst to most, burrowing away in huge saw tooth factory behind Queensberry Street, is a mob of potters and ceramics. Elm Place Studios has consistently nourished ceramics production since 1998.
Characteristically collaborative, this group of makers continue their production relationship into a new retail venture, the Guild of Objects or affectionately known as Guild. Opening in May 2015, Guildsells locally made, artisan ceramics, jewelry, lighting, clothing, textiles and other custom items. Another feature of this space is Guild Classes. Book in for a Make a Vase class with Jessila Rogers or Make a Cup with Chela Edmunds from Takeawei. Classes take place amongst the bounty of crafted objects in the retail space.
The driving force behind this retail space is the directorship of Chela Edmunds, Brooke Thornand Tao Oudomvilay. On the choice of name Thorn says, ‘we want to encourage a collective of local artisans and makers, as well as people from the community who just love to create and make with their hands. The idea of a guild sits well with that ethos. We’ll have a collection of handmade items, as well as tools and supplies to help people create, so we like how the name ‘Guild of Objects’ embraces all those aspects.’
Both Edmunds and Thorn already have well established local ceramics businesses with their studios based in Elm Place, North Melbourne. Edmunds’ label Takeawei creates fun, functional, hand crafted ceramics for the home. Thorn’s work has paired-back, design focus and makes her ceramic homewares under her own name. Oudomvilay will be exhibiting her first collection in 2016, which will be launched at Guild.
The trio believe the opportunity to display and sell their own work directly will give them the opportunity to build personal and candid connections with their customers. But they are also looking forward to sourcing and selling the work of crafts-people whom they work alongside at Elm Place, as well as other inspiring local artisans. They see it as a wonderful opportunity to spruik the talents of grass-roots makers who create a range of handmade objects which they admire. ‘We have got on board some extremely talented people; it will be a pleasure to have their work in our store. We will also be profiling all of our makers on our website, so our customers can get a real feel for how these objects are lovingly handmade’, says Thorn.
North Melbourne has not seen a guild of craftspeople in its environs since the heady days of the Meat Market Craft Centre. Those of you who appreciate handcrafting, unique objects and like to support local artists, pop into the Guild of Objects.
From North and West Melbourne News Issue 170 September 2015 – Community Section