Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

Gallery Of Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

Design-led Craft + DIY. Interiors + Home.

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

Ceramicist Vanessa Holle – aka Vanessa Bean – is known for her vases with sweet faces and crazy floral hair. And her spoons. They have faces too. So when I visited Vanessa in her Sydney studio last week, I wasn’t surprised to hear that one of the things she loves to do most is paint faces on things.

Like a lot of makers, Vanessa’s studio isn’t huge, so long shots are very tricky. She shares with another ceramicist and has a work bench, tall metal shelves and a wall of display shelves which together from an L-shape. I hope you enjoy learning more about Vanessa’s creative life and this peek into her work space.

Vanessa’s ‘ladies’ – and a couple of gentlemen – on Instagram

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

A semi in a quiet cul-de-sac in Bondi, just a few minutes walk to the beach, with my husband and three boys.

I share a separate studio space with my ceramics buddy, Agatha, which is part of the Claypool Group pottery collective in Botany. We, as members, share resources, knowledge, techniques, experience, and inspiration. We also have exhibitions together, collaborate and drink lots of tea!

When do you create? Is it a full time job?

Ceramics has turned into a full-time job. I have three full set days I am in the studio and the rest of the time I work from home, balancing work and family. Sometimes, I sneak into the studio on the weekends. The boys are all in high school now and often keen to spend time with friends rather than us.

I still never seem to have enough time though…. between making, styling and photographing, publishing listings on my Etsy store, sending out orders to stockists, making for exhibitions and running the business side of things. But I love every aspect of it!

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

What path led you to this creative place?

I have always been a maker. My dream birthday present as a child was a craft box of goodies; scissors, tape, colouring pencils, crayons, glue and I asked for it every year. I did a four-year BA Design at Sydney College of the Arts and I have worked as a graphic designer for the last 24 years both in studios and from home.

Working from home was perfect when the boys were little but it can be isolating and I missed the feedback from other designers. As well as design, I have always made things; crocheted, illustrated and photographed. I did a community college course in porcelain jewellery around five years ago and kind of got bitten by the pottery bug.

It came at the perfect time as I was looking for a change from graphic design where I could be the client and create my own direction. I started slowly with ceramics, while doing design jobs at the same time, but just this year I have decided to focus full-time on ceramics.

What’s your elevator pitch? How do you describe what you do?

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

I do repeat the following phrase quite a bit as I think it sums me up perfectly: I am a graphic designer by profession and a maker of things by nature.

The name I work under; Vanessa Bean is a combination of my given name and my childhood nickname . I have always loved figurative sculptures so have a tendency to put a face on most of the things I make and to give objects a human quality.

I also love colour and porcelain/stoneware is the ideal material to add vibrant colour to. I use a simple, decorative and graphic approach to all the pieces I make and I purpose glaze selected elements to highlight the contrast between matte and gloss. I also crochet and am always looking for ways to incorporate it into my work with ceramics.

This little hanging spoon is a fairly new creation, and I think it was possibly my favourite thing in Vanessa’s studio. And that’s a big call!

How would you describe yourself in six words?

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

Exacting, optimistic, generous, determined, loyal, colouraholic.

I often find myself saying to my husband and boys “near enough is NOT good enough.” I think they find me much too much of a perfectionist.

Where do you find inspiration and motivation?

I am constantly learning and experimenting. I think it is very important to challenge yourself with new ideas and try out new things. That’s what keeps it exciting! I started making things that I felt a need for in my own home and my range grew from there.

I am driven to make things that make me happy rather than what I think will sell and I hope that my products bring a bit of joy into people’s homes and make them smile. Part of my process is a spirit of inclusion rather than just making and delivering, where the owner shares in the creativity. I love that people want to send me pictures of their personally-styled vases and planters.

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

What are the essential items in your workspace?

My moulds for slipcasting, porcelain and stoneware slips and clay, my mud tool for smoothing, sponges, sanding pads, a pencil for drawing on designs, underglazes and brushes for painting, skewers for all sorts of things, brush on clear glaze.

Do you have a favourite tool that’s essential to your work?

It’s really hard to narrow it down to one tool but since I love the hand-painting part the best, I would have to say my superfine brushes.

What do you love most about your creative space?

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

Is there something you don’t like, or would like to change?

My studio space was an office in another life so ripping up the carpet would be a start, otherwise getting around to covering it with vinyl would be the next best thing. I would also love a window that opens.

Do you listen to anything while you work?

I mostly listen to ABC Radio, This American Life or audio books.

Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. But I have to limit myself so I don’t overdose. Otherwise I do keep a little stash of biscuits/chocolate which I try to ration for a bit of energy in the afternoons.

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

What would be your dream job or collaboration?

I have just been collaborating with another former graphic designer turned potter on some work for an upcoming group exhibition and it has been so much fun that we might try and do a solo collaborated exhibition next year…

Tell us five online resources or apps you can’t live without.

What’s the hardest thing about what you do?

Making ceramics is a risky business. Often Murphy’s Law applies, whatever can go wrong, will go wrong, particularly if it’s a commission, so I often have to make extra just to cover that.

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

As Deb Taylor at Claypool says “all the magic and all of the drama happens in the final glaze firing”. I still have to learn not to count all my chickens before they hatch. I am a terrible perfectionist and find ceramics a lesson in patience and letting go. I have learned to embrace the unique quirkiness that is “handmade”.

How do you work out the financial aspects of your business? What resources, tips and tools would you recommend?

I find pricing very difficult. I think most makers do. We are torn between wanting our work to be affordable but also not creating for nothing. You always spend more time than you can charge for. That’s why they are called love jobs. And then you have to factor in the wholesale/retail thing.

I feel as though I am still new to this business so it is a work in progress, constantly evolving. I love having an Etsy shop as the payment and e-commerce is all taken care of. I also have a husband who is very good at tax and helps with all the financial things I don’t understand. My advice would be do some research and get help from people with more experience.

What advice do you have for aspiring creatives?

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

Make what you love and as they say on all those reality TV shows: be true to yourself. Don’t try to make only what will sell. Also experiment and challenge yourself and don’t give up when you have a bad day. I can have days in the studio when nothing works and things fail. Sometimes it’s best to go home when that happens and try again the next day.

I think all creative people question their abilities on a regular basis. It’s the nature of being an artist. Also great things often come out of mistakes so be prepared to fail.

Do you have a dream that you’d love to fulfill?

More travel. I’m desperate to go to India.

Spoons! On Vanessa’s Instagram.

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

You can purchase current works by Vanessa from her , connect with her on and .

Stay tuned for more Space to Create posts. In the meantime,

Photos by Lisa Tilse for We Are Scout .

Filed Under: Tagged With: , by

Lisa’s Instagram @we_are_scout_lisa

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

© 2016 LISA TILSE FOR WE ARE SCOUT

Design-led Craft + DIY. Interiors + Home.

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

Ceramicist Vanessa Holle – aka Vanessa Bean – is known for her vases with sweet faces and crazy floral hair. And her spoons. They have faces too. So when I visited Vanessa in her Sydney studio last week, I wasn’t surprised to hear that one of the things she loves to do most is paint faces on things.

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

Like a lot of makers, Vanessa’s studio isn’t huge, so long shots are very tricky. She shares with another ceramicist and has a work bench, tall metal shelves and a wall of display shelves which together from an L-shape. I hope you enjoy learning more about Vanessa’s creative life and this peek into her work space.

Vanessa’s ‘ladies’ – and a couple of gentlemen – on Instagram

A semi in a quiet cul-de-sac in Bondi, just a few minutes walk to the beach, with my husband and three boys.

I share a separate studio space with my ceramics buddy, Agatha, which is part of the Claypool Group pottery collective in Botany. We, as members, share resources, knowledge, techniques, experience, and inspiration. We also have exhibitions together, collaborate and drink lots of tea!

When do you create? Is it a full time job?

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

Ceramics has turned into a full-time job. I have three full set days I am in the studio and the rest of the time I work from home, balancing work and family. Sometimes, I sneak into the studio on the weekends. The boys are all in high school now and often keen to spend time with friends rather than us.

I still never seem to have enough time though…. between making, styling and photographing, publishing listings on my Etsy store, sending out orders to stockists, making for exhibitions and running the business side of things. But I love every aspect of it!

What path led you to this creative place?

I have always been a maker. My dream birthday present as a child was a craft box of goodies; scissors, tape, colouring pencils, crayons, glue and I asked for it every year. I did a four-year BA Design at Sydney College of the Arts and I have worked as a graphic designer for the last 24 years both in studios and from home.

Working from home was perfect when the boys were little but it can be isolating and I missed the feedback from other designers. As well as design, I have always made things; crocheted, illustrated and photographed. I did a community college course in porcelain jewellery around five years ago and kind of got bitten by the pottery bug.

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

It came at the perfect time as I was looking for a change from graphic design where I could be the client and create my own direction. I started slowly with ceramics, while doing design jobs at the same time, but just this year I have decided to focus full-time on ceramics.

What’s your elevator pitch? How do you describe what you do?

I do repeat the following phrase quite a bit as I think it sums me up perfectly: I am a graphic designer by profession and a maker of things by nature.

The name I work under; Vanessa Bean is a combination of my given name and my childhood nickname . I have always loved figurative sculptures so have a tendency to put a face on most of the things I make and to give objects a human quality.

I also love colour and porcelain/stoneware is the ideal material to add vibrant colour to. I use a simple, decorative and graphic approach to all the pieces I make and I purpose glaze selected elements to highlight the contrast between matte and gloss. I also crochet and am always looking for ways to incorporate it into my work with ceramics.

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

This little hanging spoon is a fairly new creation, and I think it was possibly my favourite thing in Vanessa’s studio. And that’s a big call!

How would you describe yourself in six words?

Exacting, optimistic, generous, determined, loyal, colouraholic.

I often find myself saying to my husband and boys “near enough is NOT good enough.” I think they find me much too much of a perfectionist.

Where do you find inspiration and motivation?

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

I am constantly learning and experimenting. I think it is very important to challenge yourself with new ideas and try out new things. That’s what keeps it exciting! I started making things that I felt a need for in my own home and my range grew from there.

I am driven to make things that make me happy rather than what I think will sell and I hope that my products bring a bit of joy into people’s homes and make them smile. Part of my process is a spirit of inclusion rather than just making and delivering, where the owner shares in the creativity. I love that people want to send me pictures of their personally-styled vases and planters.

What are the essential items in your workspace?

My moulds for slipcasting, porcelain and stoneware slips and clay, my mud tool for smoothing, sponges, sanding pads, a pencil for drawing on designs, underglazes and brushes for painting, skewers for all sorts of things, brush on clear glaze.

Do you have a favourite tool that’s essential to your work?

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

It’s really hard to narrow it down to one tool but since I love the hand-painting part the best, I would have to say my superfine brushes.

What do you love most about your creative space?

Is there something you don’t like, or would like to change?

My studio space was an office in another life so ripping up the carpet would be a start, otherwise getting around to covering it with vinyl would be the next best thing. I would also love a window that opens.

Do you listen to anything while you work?

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

I mostly listen to ABC Radio, This American Life or audio books.

Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. But I have to limit myself so I don’t overdose. Otherwise I do keep a little stash of biscuits/chocolate which I try to ration for a bit of energy in the afternoons.

What would be your dream job or collaboration?

I have just been collaborating with another former graphic designer turned potter on some work for an upcoming group exhibition and it has been so much fun that we might try and do a solo collaborated exhibition next year…

Tell us five online resources or apps you can’t live without.

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

What’s the hardest thing about what you do?

Making ceramics is a risky business. Often Murphy’s Law applies, whatever can go wrong, will go wrong, particularly if it’s a commission, so I often have to make extra just to cover that.

As Deb Taylor at Claypool says “all the magic and all of the drama happens in the final glaze firing”. I still have to learn not to count all my chickens before they hatch. I am a terrible perfectionist and find ceramics a lesson in patience and letting go. I have learned to embrace the unique quirkiness that is “handmade”.

How do you work out the financial aspects of your business? What resources, tips and tools would you recommend?

I find pricing very difficult. I think most makers do. We are torn between wanting our work to be affordable but also not creating for nothing. You always spend more time than you can charge for. That’s why they are called love jobs. And then you have to factor in the wholesale/retail thing.

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

I feel as though I am still new to this business so it is a work in progress, constantly evolving. I love having an Etsy shop as the payment and e-commerce is all taken care of. I also have a husband who is very good at tax and helps with all the financial things I don’t understand. My advice would be do some research and get help from people with more experience.

What advice do you have for aspiring creatives?

Make what you love and as they say on all those reality TV shows: be true to yourself. Don’t try to make only what will sell. Also experiment and challenge yourself and don’t give up when you have a bad day. I can have days in the studio when nothing works and things fail. Sometimes it’s best to go home when that happens and try again the next day.

I think all creative people question their abilities on a regular basis. It’s the nature of being an artist. Also great things often come out of mistakes so be prepared to fail.

Do you have a dream that you’d love to fulfill?

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

More travel. I’m desperate to go to India.

Spoons! On Vanessa’s Instagram.

You can purchase current works by Vanessa from her , connect with her on and .

Stay tuned for more Space to Create posts. In the meantime,

Photos by Lisa Tilse for We Are Scout .

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

Filed Under: Tagged With: , by

Lisa’s Instagram @we_are_scout_lisa

© 2016 LISA TILSE FOR WE ARE SCOUT

Design-led Craft + DIY. Interiors + Home.

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

Ceramicist Vanessa Holle – aka Vanessa Bean – is known for her vases with sweet faces and crazy floral hair. And her spoons. They have faces too. So when I visited Vanessa in her Sydney studio last week, I wasn’t surprised to hear that one of the things she loves to do most is paint faces on things.

Like a lot of makers, Vanessa’s studio isn’t huge, so long shots are very tricky. She shares with another ceramicist and has a work bench, tall metal shelves and a wall of display shelves which together from an L-shape. I hope you enjoy learning more about Vanessa’s creative life and this peek into her work space.

Vanessa’s ‘ladies’ – and a couple of gentlemen – on Instagram

A semi in a quiet cul-de-sac in Bondi, just a few minutes walk to the beach, with my husband and three boys.

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

I share a separate studio space with my ceramics buddy, Agatha, which is part of the Claypool Group pottery collective in Botany. We, as members, share resources, knowledge, techniques, experience, and inspiration. We also have exhibitions together, collaborate and drink lots of tea!

When do you create? Is it a full time job?

Ceramics has turned into a full-time job. I have three full set days I am in the studio and the rest of the time I work from home, balancing work and family. Sometimes, I sneak into the studio on the weekends. The boys are all in high school now and often keen to spend time with friends rather than us.

I still never seem to have enough time though…. between making, styling and photographing, publishing listings on my Etsy store, sending out orders to stockists, making for exhibitions and running the business side of things. But I love every aspect of it!

What path led you to this creative place?

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

I have always been a maker. My dream birthday present as a child was a craft box of goodies; scissors, tape, colouring pencils, crayons, glue and I asked for it every year. I did a four-year BA Design at Sydney College of the Arts and I have worked as a graphic designer for the last 24 years both in studios and from home.

Working from home was perfect when the boys were little but it can be isolating and I missed the feedback from other designers. As well as design, I have always made things; crocheted, illustrated and photographed. I did a community college course in porcelain jewellery around five years ago and kind of got bitten by the pottery bug.

It came at the perfect time as I was looking for a change from graphic design where I could be the client and create my own direction. I started slowly with ceramics, while doing design jobs at the same time, but just this year I have decided to focus full-time on ceramics.

What’s your elevator pitch? How do you describe what you do?

I do repeat the following phrase quite a bit as I think it sums me up perfectly: I am a graphic designer by profession and a maker of things by nature.

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

The name I work under; Vanessa Bean is a combination of my given name and my childhood nickname . I have always loved figurative sculptures so have a tendency to put a face on most of the things I make and to give objects a human quality.

I also love colour and porcelain/stoneware is the ideal material to add vibrant colour to. I use a simple, decorative and graphic approach to all the pieces I make and I purpose glaze selected elements to highlight the contrast between matte and gloss. I also crochet and am always looking for ways to incorporate it into my work with ceramics.

This little hanging spoon is a fairly new creation, and I think it was possibly my favourite thing in Vanessa’s studio. And that’s a big call!

How would you describe yourself in six words?

Exacting, optimistic, generous, determined, loyal, colouraholic.

Space to Create: ceramicist Vanessa Holle aka Vanessa Bean

I often find myself saying to my husband and boys “near enough is NOT good enough.” I think they find me much too much of a perfectionist.

Where do you find inspiration and motivation?

I am constantly learning and experimenting. I think it is very important to challenge yourself with new ideas and try out new things. That’s what keeps it exciting! I started making things that I felt a need for in my own home and my range grew from there.

I am driven to make things that make me happy rather than what I think will sell and I hope that my products bring a bit of joy into people’s homes and make them smile. Part of my process is a spirit of inclusion rather than just making and delivering, where the owner shares in the creativity. I love that people want to send me pictures of their personally-styled vases and planters.

What are the essential items in your workspace?

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