La petite fabrique de Brunswick is a ceramic studio created in 2014 by Lucile, a young designer, born in south of France. She moved to Australia at the start of the summer 2014, and is now living in Brunswick, Melbourne. You may have spotted Lucile’s beautifully handmade, and sometimes 3D printed creations at our Melbourne AW15 market last weekend with our debut stalls. Read on to discover more.
Can you tell us about your lovely label and where the name comes from?
La petite fabrique de Brunswick is a ceramic studio I set up last year. I started it when I moved to Australia with my partner after our graduation. We settled down in a big shared house, with lot of space and shacks at the back of the house, and just across from Northcote Pottery Supplies – I couldn’t have dreamed for a better set up for creating my little studio. I thought of a French name: Petite fabrique which mean little workshop – and added where it’s made: in Brunswick!
What is your creative background and how did it lead you to where you are today?
I have done a Bachelor in object design in France, where the way of teaching design was in between design and art. To create my projects, I did everything by myself and had to learn how to use all the machines and how to work with different materials. I spent a lot of time in the workshops! I completed my masters degree in the Netherlands where I met my partner. During my masters I learned how to combine research and making- my brain and my hands! That’s where I fell in love with ceramics and even though I couldn’t do all my projects only in ceramics, I knew as soon I would graduate and could work only with one medium – I would focus on ceramics.
What inspires you daily?
Creative process is a funny thing- you can be really absorbed and inspired by something and it will take you a lot of time before to know what to do with it- before to be able to transform an inspiration into your own project. So in a daily life I am not looking for specific inspiration but I feed my creativity with Instagram, Pinterest, and some random google research, but also looking back at books I love. I also use drawings to record my inspiration and find a balance with my computer research.
What is your workspace like? What is your creative process?
My studio is at the back of my house- it’s a tiny wooden shack, with a stain glass window and an uneven warped floor! It’s quite small so I have to try to keep it clean and tidy. But I love collecting and gathering things – so the space gets crowded and messy really quickly – even more when I have a big order and I have pieces everywhere. I am there all day, working by myself and going back and forth to Northcote Pottery Supplies to drop my pieces off to be fired. The studio is really nice in summer, as I can almost work outside and just use it as storage for the night.
What challenges have you faced starting your own label, and what are some things you love about it?
Even though starting your own business is really exciting and being able to do what you love as a living is bliss- sometimes it can be really hard and you can have some doubts. If you don’t push yourself to get out of bed every morning no one else will do it. Some of the biggest challenges at the beginning were to be confident enough to start to show my work to shops and get better at talking about it. But what I love in Melbourne is the very supportive community we have here around craft and handmade. Working by yourself can make you feel lonely– but here I’ve got a lot of help and some very good tips from other makers – which makes a big difference when you start your own studio.
What new pieces are you working on and where would you like to see La Petite Fabrique de Brunswick in the future?
For the Melbourne Finders Keepers I have worked on a couple of new patterns and more limited editions – it was really fun to experiment with new patterns. For the last couple of weeks, I have been working on a new collection and I hope to release it at the end of winter – if I am happy with it!
As well, as la petite fabrique, I have started to work with my partner on a 3D printer which prints with ceramics- which we debuted at the Melbourne AW15 market last weekend! [Editors note: see the finished result on our Instagram!]