The matte black factory frontage opens up to reveal a light and bright event space that's perfect for creative workshops and celebrations. It's a converted warehouse that takes minimalist industrial-chic to the next level, with sky-high ceilings, exposed timber beams, plenty of lush greenery, and swoon-worthy accents of timber and terrazzo.
The space is the brainchild of ceramicist Kate Bowman and her partner, creative producer Steve Harris. With each of them heavily involved in the local art scene, the idea for Stoker Studio was born from their desire to connect and celebrate the creative community here on The Mornington Peninsula.
Kate and Steve spent twelve months searching high and low for the perfect studio, originally envisioning a smaller home for Stoker. Kate had been throwing her ceramics in a collaborative art space around the corner, and at first, they thought it might be a gamble to take on a property of this size. When they arranged a walk-through of the spacious factory, they immediately recognized the potential to parlay it into an arts, music and events hub and fill a significant gap in the market.
Ever the hands-on creatives, the pair got stuck into converting the space themselves, with their community getting behind them to help with sanding, painting, sealing and planting. It was a mammoth effort that transformed the look and feel of the old building, whilst still paying homage to its industrial past.
As you'd expect, the studio itself has been styled to perfection, with Kate's earthy ceramics and Steve's handmade custom ply furniture throughout. The pair also enlisted the help of their good friend Ryan, a touted interior plant designer better known as 'The Plant Charmer'. With his help, they designed the native gardens that spill out of the studio and surround what will soon be a stage.
Steve hopes that the space will lead the programming and that the venue will help put the Mornington Peninsula back on the touring circuit of artists and bands. There's also all-too-easy access for food trucks, making the possibilities feel endless. Whether it's a market, exhibition, outdoor cinema or live-art event, the spacious studio and landscaped courtyard provide the ultimate contemporary canvas.
"We've both worked in and across a number of creative industries over our lifetimes, and we hope that the space will represent the best of all of that," says Steve of their vision.
With Christmas just around the corner, Kate has released a slew of clay workshops that will take place in the studio and are perfect for gifting, including her popular 'Wheel and Wine' nights as well as 'The Art of Vase Making and Floral Arranging' with Peninsula Wildflower. There are also upcoming collaborations with the local legends at Chirping Birds and Kerri Greens, details of which are soon to be announced.
For those looking to hire Stoker Studio to bring their next event, workshop or exhibition to life, it's now available for half or full-day hire. For upcoming creative events and makers markets, watch this space.