Since launching seven years ago, Kim Wallace Ceramics has grown in leaps and bounds from a small hobby and passion project into a thriving ceramics making studio.
With orders for its handmade wares being sent all over the country as well as overseas, the company has decided to expand into a 240 square metre warehouse and shopfront.
The new store was opened in response the brand’s customers wanting to see the products up close, says owner, Kim Wallace, who was born in the Netherlands and has called Australia home since the year 2000.
“No matter the amount of effort you put in, translating the feeling of a piece through a screen just doesn’t measure up to being able to see something in ‘real-life’,” she says. “We’re so excited to connect with our customers in person.
“We’re lucky to be surrounded by so many creatives in this area. Bespoke furniture and design shops, coffee roasters, organic markets, local breweries and fashion outlets are nestled in amongst all of the industrial buildings and there is a real sense of craftsmanship here. We’re hoping it can be a community-building space.”
The new studio is now home to two kilns (seven times larger than the ones Wallace originally started out with), rows and rows of workbenches and the full-time team of four. Stepping through the doorway behind the shop counter, customers can catch a glimpse of the team inside the studio rolling slabs, pouring slip and glazing their ceramic pieces.
These pieces―plates, bowls, vases and reusable takeaway cups, are destined for their store, as well as stockists and restaurants across Australia and the world. Most recently 60 Reusable Takeaway Cups headed to Superette in New Zealand and 200 pieces for coffee roastery Blooms in Hong Kong.
“We want the shop to be an extension of the studio, and for our customers to be touched on all levels and senses upon entering. From the scent of our camphor laurel shelving (locally made by the Cooroora Woodworkers Club in Cooroy) and warm lighting to the potted plants and cozy kids corner (with toys to keep little ones entertained), we want it to feel calming and easy while shopping.”
All of Wallace’s creations are made in-house, by hand, with Australian clays and non-toxic glazes. “We’re seeing an increase in people searching out quality, handmade goods that will stand the tests of time. Hopefully, this small maker movement will continue to pick up speed.”