Meet Kerryn Levy, ceramicist / by Lisa Nguyen

If you’re curious about the art of ceramics, an afternoon with Kerryn might just provide the inspiration you need. We are all obsessed with Kerryn’s ceramics! Come and see why at her workshop on Sunday September 8 at the studio.
Kerryn Levi Ceramics

Kerryn Levi Ceramics

Short history of your career so far

After studying a bachelor of Visual Art at UniSA specialising in ceramics, I travelled to Canada and joined a couple of ceramics studios on Vancouver Island. I started selling work at weekly markets in the summer and realised I wanted to commit to making ceramics my profession, so I returned to Adelaide and was accepted into the JamFactory associate program. From there I started developing a more distinct style and a full-time practice making work for exhibitions, stockists, the occasional restaurant, and teaching wheel-throwing and hand-building classes.  

What made you pursue this line of work?

When I was travelling I realised how much I missed the feeling of clay in my hands and I felt immensely satisfied whenever I was working in the studio so I decided if I could do it everyday and make a living from it then I should. I can’t imagine doing anything else now, I work very hard but I work for myself and I’m driven to be there by my own desire to make, and that feels really good. 

What are you known for? (Signature style)

People would usually recognise my ceramic ‘Asymmetry Vessels’ or ‘Onishi Vases’. They are sculptural vessels with ‘squiggly’ or organic forms that are reminiscent of botanical and human bodies. They are often displayed in pairs or groups that nestle together.

 Favourite thing about your work

Being part of an amazing community of artists, art lovers, students and teachers and getting to spend my working days with them. 

Kerryn Levy

Kerryn Levy

Who and what influences your work, and what is currently inspiring you?

Elements of the Australian landscape, poets/writers, other artists and makers. I’m currently inspired by the idea of having some time to explore some new projects, actually! 

Do you have any pinch-me moments or special projects you’re most proud of in your career to-date?

I recently got the opportunity, thanks to Guildhouse and Journey Beyond, to experience the Ghan train trip from Darwin to Adelaide, doing some demonstrations and hosting a workshop for the passengers along the way. That was a pretty surreal moment, to think that my work can allow me to experience these things that I wouldn’t otherwise have dreamed of. 

Favourite cities/holiday destinations and why

I love visiting Spain and South America – There’s some amazing hiking in South America, I love the Spanish language and the food in Spain is my favourite! 

 Favourite things to do in your downtime

In the summer I love spending time at the beach, lying on the sand and feeling the breeze on my skin and the warmth of the sun… I really want it to be summer already! Otherwise reading a book, watching a movie, going camping or spending time with friends and family.

Self-care practice - what does yours entail?

Getting regular massages to stay on top of body aches and pains, having baths, practicing yoga, going on hikes and moving my body, spending time creating a tidy, clean space for myself at home, going out dancing, buying a box of assorted chocolates from Haigh’s as a special treat to myself!

What does wellness look like to you?

For me wellness is the result of doing the things in the previous list, making sure I carve out time in my days to do the things that leave me feeling good in my mind and my body. When I’m feeling time-poor or stressed I often fall behind on eating well, exercising, relaxing, sleeping enough and that’s when I start to feel unwell.

Kerryn’s signature vases

Kerryn’s signature vases

Book you’re currently/last read?

I’m currently in the middle of ‘The Dollmaker’ by Nina Allan and ‘The Museum of Modern Love’ by Heather Rose.