RAW artists serve independent artists with tools, resources, education and exposure needed to thrive and succeed in their creative careers. They also showcases indie talent in visual art, film, fashion and accessories design, music, performance art, beauty, and photography.
Hashtag Oz supports RAW Artists and caught up with Rachel Charge, a RAW artist who specializes in ceramic art.
Rachel, how did you get involved in ceramics?
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 (which was a beautiful introduction to working with clay) 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.
How has creating ceramic art changed your life?
In what way? My clay practice has made me a much more mindful and patient person which is something I hope to pass on through my work. Each piece is mindfully handmade with love and intended to be enjoyed in moments of pause.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I draw from nostalgia, life experiences, magical moments, and the world around me as inspiration. Several key themes show up regularly in my work: female empowerment, fertility, dreams, and ritual. Do you ever get inspirational blocks? What do you do about them? I always have ideas whirring around my head but not all of them fall into practice. If I’m feeling uninspired, I’ll play with some ideas and see how they develop, or I might take a step back and allow myself to have a break, or work on something else creative to get fresh inspiration flowing.
Did you always want to get involved in ceramics, as you were growing up?
Were you encouraged or supported to be a ceramics artist? I have always loved ceramics, art, and the freedom of expressing myself creatively. When I was little, I thought I would be a writer and illustrator of children’s books because I always loved to draw and write stories. When I finished high school, I hadn’t quite found the right creative outlet that inspired me enough to pursue it seriously as a career, so I completed a Bachelor of Business with a major in Public Relations and minor in Marketing. I worked in the corporate world for around seven years before deciding to quit my stable job to embrace my creative side and small businesses. It has been an empowering journey. I am very lucky to have an incredibly supportive partner, family and friends – they don’t always understand my art but love me for me and completely have my back. We all make each other very proud and cheer each other on no matter what.
Where did you discover your love of ceramics come from?
I have always loved the beauty and quirks of handmade ceramics. I have been collecting pieces for so long… I can remember going on holidays with friends and going off to search for ceramic treasures. I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer and would say to my now husband, ‘Imagine if I became a ceramic artist…’ I tried pottery a couple of times in high school and in my early twenties, but I was quite impatient and shrugged it off when I wasn’t instantly amazing at it! It wasn’t until more recent times that I gave myself the patience to really embrace it.
What is a typical day in your studio like? How do you start your day, do you have music on, or do you like quiet? Tell us about your studio and work flow.
I always have music playing in my studio. What I play changes according to my mood. I try to get out there in the morning and smash out as much as I can until the end of the day, although during busier times I’ll often work late into the evening. When I started creating from home, I would drag everything from the shed out to my verandah table, working away in rain, hail or shine – sometimes until I could barely feel my fingers on cold winter days. But these days I’m much more efficient (and much less exposed to the weather) now that I have a proper little studio space in my shed. My work flow is so much better. My weeks are a mix of creating, glazing, and shooting new pieces, as well as working from my home office doing the not so creative part of small business.
If you could have dinner with any artist in the world, who would it be and why?
Frida Kahlo! She was just epic – completely and unapologetically herself. She believed in herself when no one else would. Persistence and being true to yourself are so important as an artist.
How did you become involved in RAW gallery?
RAW found me on Instagram and contacted me to be involved. I would recommend RAW to other emerging artists – it was such a great experience!
Thank you Rachel for your time and being part of Hashtag Oz.
Hashtag Oz is passionate about mental health awareness. The process of getting recognition as a creative person can be a waiting game and for some that waiting game can be very hard. What three pieces of advice would you give to those starting out in the Art Industry?
I feel like I’m still starting out in the art industry! But here is my list:
1. Be your authentic self and embrace your own style.
2. Art is subjective and not everyone is going to love it but keep at it and be your own biggest cheerleader.
3. Just get out there and start – you never know what it might lead to!