in the studio with Holly Macdonald

Holly is an emerging ceramic artist originally from Sydney but now based in Melbourne. Holly completed a bachelor of fine arts, majoring in ceramics at National Art School, Sydney and honours in ceramics at RMIT. Holly's work is hand built from porcelain using a pinch pot technique to create delicate, functional vessels which she then inlays or draws on using ceramic pencils, stained slips and glazes.

Recently we asked Holly a few questions to see how she's going during the lockdown and what she is looking forward to once restrictions are eased.

1. What's your new routine like? 

During lockdown I have had a lot more time and a lot less structure to my week. A lot more time and space to worry! And so having some sort of routine has been important. I always start the day with a cup of tea (from a handmade mug!). During lockdown I have been much more vigilant about reading with my morning cuppa. At the moment I am reading 'The Memory Code' by Lynne Kelly. After breakfast I check and respond to emails and then I head to the studio, which is walking distance from my house and has thankfully been able to stay open. Some days are more productive than others. Turning up everyday has been the important part.

2. How are you keeping in touch with other makers?

I am enjoying good old fashioned phone calls to be honest! Instagram too of course, although I try not to spend too much time scrolling and messaging on social media - too much wear and tear on my thumbs, which are my most prized tool in the studio! I have also enjoyed a couple of gatherings on Zoom, like the Journal of Australian Ceramics launch a couple of weeks ago.

3. What are you doing to practice self-care during this time? I have been getting into bike riding around Melbourne, which is so great. Also reconnecting with a yoga practice, which I had definitely let slide pre-lockdown. Lots of wholesome yummy food too. I live with three good friends and we have been taking turns to cook dinner each night. That meal together every evening has been a grounding way to end each day.

4. What's your favourite at home handmade ceramic? 

Favourites are hard when it comes to ceramics! But I guess if I had to choose one right now I am enjoying getting to know a recent purchase - a faceted bowl by Sophie Moran.

5. What are you most looking forward to when the restrictions are over?

Hugs! And also being able to travel to see my family, especially my twin sister and my baby niece who live in the NT.