Tuesday 15 April 2014

Featured Designer: Sarah, from Sea Soul Studio

Every inspired object on every single stall at the Barn Market has a narrative.  Sometimes we feel we intuitively know that story –just from a glance. And sometimes the handmade objects stir a memory, a feeling or desire that leaves us needing to know more.  

So, we’re coaxing some of the Barn Market makers, designers, artisans and creatives out of their studios to share their unique stories and passions behind those objects we call handmade. 

We're incredibly proud of the prodigious talent they share with us at each and every Barn Market.  

Sarah Woodward is the energy and drive behind Sea Soul Studio. Not only are her pieces incredibly beautiful, they are also very tactile and reveal an intimate connectedness with, and passion for, the stunning corner of Tasmania she calls home.

What was the inspiration and drive behind Sea Soul Studio?
As most creative types would agree, the urge to design and make is an incredibly strong force within us, sometimes surpassing the urge to eat and sleep! After deciding to leave the frantic world of cheffing and allow myself to really BE and create from that place, Sea Soul Studio was born.  Even though it is my business, it is hugely personal because what I create are little pieces of my experience of life. My designs are influenced heavily by our lives in our lovely old cottage by the sea as well as our roadtrips, travel and general wanderlust.

What attracted you to working with clay?
Well, its mud pies for adults, really, isn’t it?  I have been working with clay for about 4 years now and I am still in awe of it’s versatility, you can create almost any form you can imagine. Whether or not that form holds up to the stresses of drying and firing is a completely different story, let’s just say I have a rather large “mosaic” stash.

You have described yourself as having a “bowerbird nature”, does that influence your work at Sea Soul Studio?
Every day! Points of inspiration come from the most unexpected places, and I’ve learnt never to force it. I’ve been thinking recently about a new range of jewellery for Winter and was coming up blank for a few weeks, then I found a piece of pressed tin panelling and held and looked at it for ages, I just loved the pattern and texture. So, there will be a brooch in homage to this and a ring inspired by ceiling roses!  So, this is how a new collection is started.

Can you describe a major challenge you have had to overcome to create Sea Soul Studio?
RSI! As I was winding down the hospitality career, I had awful pain in my hands and wrists (tenosynovitis in my left, which meant I couldn’t even move my thumb. At all.)  I almost had surgery but decided if I was going to do this whole life-balance-live-my-true-nature-thing then I owed it to myself to try resting and allowing my body time to heal. (And I’m a big chicken!) Which it has, until I try to do too much, then I get some warning pains, which is my body telling me I’m getting a bit out of balance!!! So, be careful what you wish for.

What can we expect to see in the future for Sea Soul Studio?
I am so excited about branching out from fine porcelain jewellery and creating some beautiful, earthy homewares. So far there are dishes and spoons of varying sizes, some for special purposes such as the Thorne Cottage Cheese Dish (named after our house), which is the perfect size for a wheel of brie and can be popped in the oven if it happened to be one of those yummy prosciutto wrapped specimens. 
My hubby-to-be has built me a fabulous new slab roller, so I’m looking forward to making some big platters in coming months, all ready for sitting around the fire and eating antipasto off, whilst sipping mulled wine out of old silver goblets.

Thanks Sarah! Keep an eye out for Sarah and Sea Soul Studio at the Barn Market. 

We'll have stories from other makers over the coming weeks and months - pop back again to read more about our amazing local talent!