Five Questions With Bea Bellingham

Written by Bea Bellingham
on 08 April, 2019
Ceramic artist Bea Bellingham. Image credit Alana Dimou.

A self described maker of silliness, Bea Bellingham first debuted at Finders Keepers back in 2016 and has had us swooning over her ceramic creations ever since. Oozing girl power and pure fun, her latest collection is not to be missed! Get to know Bea’s super-dooper wonderful work in person at the upcoming Sydney Finders Keepers May 3 – 5 and get to know Bea below! We know where our plant babies are living this winter!

We’ve been spying some fun new designs popping up via your IG lately! Tell us about your latest range and the inspiration behind it? 

At the beginning of the year I set aside some time to really focus on the forms of my pieces. There’s more curves, there’s happy little ears for handles and daft trophies. I’ve also adapted some of our ol’ fave illustrations – the Sheila boobies, and Miso cats to the brighter and bolder, and added two new patterns, Annette swimming ladies, and a Bright Matilda Matisse garden pattern. But I think my favourite are the trophies celebrating mediocrity.

We can’t all be winners, but everyone should get a trophy!

Handmade porcelain ceramic Trophy by Bea Bellingham
Stoneware, ceramic, Dingley dangly Schlomping Car Earrings by Bea Bellingham

What do you love most about living in Sydney and where’s your go-to creative outlet? 

I feel so supported and surrounded by creativity. I run a 200sqm ceramic studio in Marrickville where we make all of our wares, but I also lease out to 15 other ceramicists. These folks inspire me daily – we all have our own styles and techniques. I also teach around 200 students a month, and getting to see ceramics through this many fresh eyes is surprisingly inspiring. 

Girl Power range, Sheila all shapes and sizes boobie dishey dish by Bea Bellingham
Girl Power range, Sheila all shapes and sizes boobie jug by Bea Bellingham

We see you’re now running ceramic workshops! What’s your favourite piece to teach people how to make? 

I’m still a sucker for handbuilding anything – so little vessels, mugs and planters. It’s such an accessible method of working with clay, and people will start the class really struggling, and end with a piece they’re really proud of. Of course, the wine and cheese evenings do tend to produce the most ‘unique’ outcomes! 

Girl power range, Sheila all shapes and sizes boobie bud vase by Bea Bellingham
Teeny Tiny vessels in the making by Bea Bellingham

As one of our star stallholders what would be your key piece of advice to first time sellers at The Finders Keepers? 

Firstly, be prepared to look after yourself. It’s a full-on weekend. Healthy snack packs and big bottles of water, a very good flatbed folding trolley, squishy mats to stand on, and good nights sleep. But also, make sure you think about the stories behind your pieces – the reason you’ve been chosen to be at Finders Keepers is because you’re a unique maker. You’re not just selling your wares to customers, your selling your story. Stand up behind your stand, with a big smile, ready to tell that story with pride. 

Matilda Matisse inspired garden dishey dish by Bea Bellingham
Bea Bellingham’s stall display at Finders Keepers Sydney AW18 beautifully captured by Samee Lapham

What has been your proudest moment to date during your Finders Keepers journey? 

I still remember after my debut stall years ago a customer emailing me to say how many compliments her new necklace received. This has happened many times since then, but the first time was still the proudest. I called my mum to tell her!

Annette swimming women planter by Bea Bellingham

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