Allison Smiles | Episode 171
Alison Smiles currently shares a studio/small retail space in a small suburb of Adelaide, South Australia. Currently, Alison’s group is the only group independent ceramics studio in their city. Alison loves working with clay as it has also afforded her the opportunity to travel and connect with makers from all over the world.
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How do you find inspiration?
A lot of my work comes from childhood images and so a lot of it is things I have seen as a child or child-like. I do look at animals a lot. I will often just sit and watch a bird and think about the possibilities of what that could be if I turning it into a sculpture.
What is your favorite form to make?
I like making jugs with a pouring lip. I think making the pouring lip is one of the nicest things to do.
What is your favorite tool to use?
There is a tool I have that is just a 50 cent box wood tool. It is like a finger shape, but it is a tiny finger, because I have very sausagey kind of fingers. So it is the finger I would like to have to push little shapes and sculpt really well, so I guess that would be my favorite tool.
What role does ceramics play in Australian society?
A few years ago I would tell people I was doing ceramics and they would get kind of a glazey look on their faces. Now when you tell people that is what you do they get quite excited. I think ceramics has come up in people’s estimation over the past couple of years.
If you could be one Australian animal, which would it be and why?
I would probably be a possum because the possums in Australia are super cute, they are not like the American possum. And they get to stay up all night.