Leah Jackson is an Australian ceramicist working primarily with slip cast and hand built porcelain. Her range of instantly recognisable homewares will be available at the Melbourne market, where Leah will be having her first ever Finders Keepers stall. Don’t miss out, doors open 5pm Friday 14th July. Market continues all weekend.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to begin your label.
I had a strong interest in ceramics from an early age, determining upon it as a career in the later years of high school. This led into studying ceramics at university. Even from the early years I was excited by the commercial side of ceramics – product designers like Hella Jongerius, very early Mud and Bison, Versace homewares.
After relocating back to Melbourne, working in the arts, and travelling for a few years, I started making and exhibiting again. During those early days I was still working part time, but each year another day of the week would become a studio day, until it completely took over!
Who inspires you and your creative process?
I find the creative process deeply personal and deeply ingrained – I have tried to adopt tips from other creatives about how they best work most productively, but generally will revert to my own behaviours. The tenacity of friends who are also makers and/or business owners is what inspires me most. Owning a gallery, writing a book, creating a fashion label. It all takes that crazy initial step off the ledge, taking a risk, and sticking with it.
Tell us something exciting that you have planned for Leah Jackson for the next 12 months.
I am currently working at capacity – which means that if my label is to grow I need more hands on deck, or a completely different way of working. Strategising how best to move forward is both daunting and exciting, but I hope it finds resolution within the next 12 months.
Name one resource that your label could not live without.
The greatest resource for 2017 has been clinical pilates – ceramics is a physically demanding practice, and this year the cumulative effects of both repetitive detailed, fiddly movements, and lifting bulky, heavy items have amounted to a nasty case of tennis elbow! It is easy to undervalue your own physicality in the rush to deadlines, but an injury is a quick reminder to (preemptively, wherever possible) keep your ACTUAL number one resource your label can’t live without – your body and brain – in good working order.
Tell us about your favourite product from your collection.
I am most proud of the mug – I am often told by people it is their favourite mug, and they mean functionally as well as visually. (Having been an owner of many favourite mugs throughout my time, that is no small compliment! It is a sacred relationship!). I find people often feel the need to express that they are lovely to use, as though surprised something so decorative can also be utilitarian, but creating something both useful and visually joyful is a driving factor for me.