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Sallee Warner Ceramicist

My passion for clay started when I was a teenager growing up in Dover, Tasmania.

I developed an interest in the local clay pit, where I dug my first clay and made my first pinch pots. This led to doing an Adult Ed course, which inspired me to become a potter.

I later travelled to Brisbane, where I worked in a pottery studio as an assistant preparing clay and packing kilns for morning and evening classes. In the afternoons, I practised my own work – mainly throwing on the potter’s wheel.

After a couple of years, I returned to Tasmania and life became busy. I bought land in the south, built a house, and started my family. Although this left little time for pottery, I always kept my hand in making, and attended workshops and conferences whenever I could.

My life took another turn when we moved to a small island off the coast of Maine, United States. I attended a workshop at the Haystack School of Craft, which re-invigorated my passion as a potter. After a couple of years, we returned to the far south of Tasmania, and my lifestyle renovating, gardening, making pots, and raising children all blended together.

Eventually, we moved to Hobart during the week for schooling. This was a great time for me: I returned to TAFE, worked in a shared studio in Liverpool Street, and curated exhibitions with the Tasmanian Ceramics Association. I had a solo show at the Sidespace Gallery, exhibited at Handmark Gallery, and soon started my ceramic business. This inspired me to invest in half of a site at Salamanca Market, enabling me to make a living as a full-time potter.

I feel extremely lucky to be inspired by my surroundings living and working each day in my studio in Southport, Southern Tasmania. I enjoy using local ingredients whenever possible. I use ash from our woodstove, and dig local clay that I use for slip on my pots. Simplicity and functionality are the two most important themes that I strive for. I like my work to be used and enjoyed on a daily basis.

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