A gentle approach and an eye to nature for inspiration make for quietly captivating pieces.
Eleven years ago, after a busy time working in fashion and interiors, Anna-Karina Elias moved from Sydney to Byron Bay for a simpler life and opened a bookshop. She then, luckily for us, studied ceramics at art school. These days, Elias is in her Bangalow studio making beautifully simple tableware that's sophisticated and gentle, but never dull. Her pieces whisper rather than shout, and your kitchen and table will appreciate the approach.
Why the change from books to pottery?
I fell in love with a tea bowl made in Korea in the Bun-cheong period; it had an honesty about it. I thought, in between all the chaos of my life, I'm going to learn to make a bowl myself. I've been doing it every day now, for six years.
You use found objects in your work. Is that a big part of your process?
I want to present glazing in a very natural way. At the moment I'm casting a shelf mushroom and making porcelain bowls out of it. One of my oak trees died, so I made a glaze; it has this beautiful amber speck that comes out and every time I put it on a different clay body, it takes on a different hue. Anna Karina ceramics are sold at Bloodorange, 35 Elizabeth Bay Rd, Elizabeth Bay, NSW, (02) 9357 2424.
Clockwise from back left: stoneware medium pouring bowl with white-ash glaze, $50; dark stoneware small pouring bowl with oak-ash glaze, $45; stoneware carafe with amber-fleck white glaze, $160; small stoneware carafe with amber-fleck white oak-ash glaze, $130; two dark stoneware pourers with oak-ash glaze $110; (from bottom of stack) medium stoneware plate with coconut glaze, $45; stoneware side plate with white glaze, $45; three stoneware bowls with green-sage glaze, $40 each; spoon with white-zinc glaze, $20; salt dish with coconut glaze, $24; stoneware side plates (under grapes) with amber-fleck khaki glaze, $37 each. All other props stylist's own.