Matilda Foley, affectionately known as Til, is a far cry from your average creative.
Since she first began making ceramics in 2016, the 20-year-old ceramicist has turned what was once a weekend hobby and artistic outlet, into a profitable and sustainable business (helped by a guest spot in Australian House & Garden).
From the quiet chaos that exists in the garage studio of her McCrae home, Til creates her homewares, jewellery and ‘vessels from the earth’. Neutral tones and rough textures feature heavily in her ceramic pieces, inspired by the rugged coastal backdrop and beaches near her seaside home.
“Keeping things raw” is a main focus for Til, and maintaining her handcrafted methodology means no two pieces are ever the same.
The culmination of a creative disposition, artistic curiosity and spare time led Til, whose mum is a teacher and artist, to attend a few classes at Dromana Potters. Four years on, the fully-functional ceramics studio in Til’s home is the centre for her creative energy.
Handweaving with natural raffia is her latest obsession, and the bowls, baskets, planters and pots she creates have proven as popular as her ceramic wares.
“It’s a form of therapy for me,” Til says of the weaving process. “The structure and repetitive motion is really calming.”
While the majority of Til’s business came from market stalls and her much-loved art symposiums and ceramics workshops, the pandemic has put a hold on teaching and face-to-face interactions.
Like many Ninch makers, Til's adapted, ramping up her online store and creating “take home” clay and weaving packs — a great alternative to her workshops, and the perfect iso activity for idle hands.
At $60 for clay packs and $30 for weaving kits, everything you’ll need for your quarantine crafting, from art tools, start-to-finish instructions and access to an online forum is included, plus an opportunity to fire your clay creations in her kiln.
Til, who recently began a bachelor's degree in Art Psychotherapy, hopes the DIY art packs can provide the same calm and peace for others as her creations do for her.