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Up close with Rachel Charge

When we first set eyes on these vulva bowls and cups (see below) on Instagram, we just knew we had to bring them onto Eat & Sip. To be honest, it wasn't hard to fall in love with the other products in her collection as well! We dm-ed Rachel, and a few months later headed down to Victoria, Australia to collect the products!

Handbuild tableware Singapore - Rachel Charge CeramicsVulva bowls, vulva plates, nipple dishes. Notice a recurring theme?

We met Rachel at a lovely chocolate cafe in Montrose, Hahndorf's Fine Chocolates, that has really good hot chocolate and started bombarding her with questions!

Rachel charge handbuild ceramics | tableware SingaporeBecause its always nice to be able to put a face to the products... And erm, we forgot to take a photo with her!

the Tableware Curators (TC): Hi Rachel, nice to finally meet you! Do you mind giving us a brief background on yourself and how you got started with pottery?
Rachel:  Nice to finally meet you guys too! Well, I have always been a creative person, dabbling in various art-forms for as long as I can remember but it wasn’t until I did a 6-week wheel throwing course that I realised I had found my calling.
From there, I taught myself how to hand-build which is how I create my current body of work today. Currently, I work from my home studio (a small section of our shed) in a green leafy suburb of Melbourne’s East.

Handbuild tableware Singapore - Rachel Charge CeramicsBisqued nipple triangle dish

TC: What do you love so much about pottery?

Rachel:  I love the quirks or variations of ceramics and how no two pieces are ever the same. They are each their own beautiful little work of art.

I love that you can’t rush the process and need to slow down and take your time to mindfully make each piece. There is a really lovely connection between the maker and their work which is then passed on to the babes who enjoy them. 

Handbuild tableware Singapore - Rachel Charge CeramicsA 'work-in-progress' handpinched vulva bowl!

TC:  What do you not like about pottery then?

Rachel:  When I’m on a tight deadline it can be very nerve-wracking! You never really know if your pieces are going to work out… No matter how hard you try sometimes clay has a mind of its own + will break or crack for no obvious reason. But it’s all part of the clay game and makes the pieces that do work out that much more special.

Handbuild tableware Singapore - Rachel Charge CeramicsBisqued babes! Rachel loves working with clay that has very interesting texture!

TC: We have to say your tableware collection is really unique. What or who is the inspiration behind your tableware line?

Rachel:  The main inspiration for my work is womankind, female empowerment and fertility. I’m also inspired by a sense of nostalgia, magical moments, mother nature, dreams, ritual and the world around me.

Rachel charge handbuild ceramics | tableware SingaporeHer Eye See You cups caught our 'eye' as well and we couldn't resist ordering a few!

TC: What's your creative flow/process like? Do you draw your designs out first or just go with the flow?

Rachel:  I nearly always sketch out the ideas spinning around in my head but sometimes I do just have a play and see where it leads me. Often my concepts develop further either on paper or during the creation process.

Documenting processes in so important for ceramics as there are so many variables anyway so it makes it much easier for yourself down the track to document your tests and final pieces.

Rachel charge handbuild ceramics | tableware Singapore
More bisqued vulva bowls waiting to be glazed and refired! 

TC: What is your making method? 

Rachel:  My work is all completely hand built, meaning I make it all by hand using various hand building techniques with no wheel. My favourite clays to work with are raku or those that result in beautiful and interesting textures – my favourites consist of paper, sand and other minerals such as trachyte.  All of my pieces are fired to stoneware temperature which is around 1280 degrees Celsius.

Rachel charge handbuild ceramics | tableware SingaporeRachel's seer incense holder comes in two variations, one made from sand stoneware and the other, from speckled stoneware

Rachel charge handbuild ceramics | tableware SingaporeA close up of the stoneware with crushed trachyte, giving it a speckled effect

TC: Why do you think pottery is becoming a bit more popular recently?

Rachel:  I think in this crazy fast paced world there is a real need to slow down and get back to our roots. Working with clay is the perfect example of this. Clay practice is beautifully grounding, connecting your mind and body with the earth in your hands.

I think more and more people are starting to appreciate the time, love and energy that goes into each handmade piece and are wanting to create their own special heirlooms. There is a really mindful, slow movement upon us and a real push to know where things come from, how they are made and who makes them. 

Rachel charge handbuild ceramics | tableware SingaporeSome of her other works

TC: Which other ceramicists do you follow closely or are inspired by?

Rachel:  I love, love, love ceramic art and there are so many incredible artists out there! A few of my favourites off the top of my head would have to be Pinksoy, Voluptuary Ceramics, Elli Walsh Ceramics, Liv & Dom, Frankie, Amy Leeworthy, Easy To Breathe, Magnolia Mountain, Clay Tribe and Sit Still Lauren Ceramics. All very different styles but incredible artists.

Rachel charge handbuild ceramics | tableware SingaporeLove the texture of all her tableware! Touch it and you will fall in love with it too!

TC: Any last words or advice for budding ceramicists? 

Be your own muse and embrace your own style!

Rachel: Put yourself out there and remember to be kind to yourself. Art is subjective and not everyone is going to love it but keep at it, keep growing and be your own biggest cheerleader! You can do it! 

 Handbuild tableware Singapore - Rachel Charge Ceramics
Milky nipple dishes - a variation of her regular ones!  


Check out Rachel's collection here
PS. Most of the pictures used in this article were taken by Rachel herself.

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