Sourcing new work

Woodfired mug on Etsy

As well as scouring the secondary market for Australian ceramics, David and I continue to buy new pieces. We never seem to have any trouble finding things to spend our money on, either locally or during our travels, but I sometimes wish there was a place on the Internet where we could shop more widely and systematically for recent work that fits into the themes of our forthcoming exhibitions.

We are particularly interested in building up our collection of woodfired ceramics for next season’s exhibition, so I decided to see what Etsy had to offer.  Etsy is an e-commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items as well as art and craft supplies. It operates like an online craft fair with each seller having their own shop. To my surprise, I found that Sergei Shatrov has an Etsy shop called  Mudworx and that I can buy work there made at the Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Bombala, just down the road. This is one of the HTM woodfired mugs.  As far as I can see, there are no other Australian woodfirers on Etsy at the moment but this is a good start.




  1. Hi Judith
    I wonder if Australian potters are slow to get involved with Etsy because it’s still very much a US-based enterprise? There’s a much bigger market for handmade ceramics there in any case. I often see beautiful ceramics listed in Etsy shops but the cost of international postage is prohibitive … maybe given most of the market is in the northern hemisphere, Australian potters are reluctant to use it as the postage costs would make them less competitive. It would be great if locals used it specifically for local buyers – or if there could be a dedicated site for ceramicists! I’ve also checked out BigCartel but I find the layout and search options too annoying.
    In Victoria Zak Chalmers and Rob Barron both had their studios open a couple of weeks ago – not sure what their online presence is like but if the flurry of ‘mud colony’ blogs are anything to go by they are busily making lots of lovely wood fired ware! I believe Cone 11 at the Abbotsford Convent are getting set up to build a wood kiln too (though production would still be a way off).
    Bit cheeky but I don’t suppose you want to exhibit some new raku pottery too at some stage? Would be happy to help you there …!

      1. If it was just like a classifieds kind of site, where makers and collectors could sell and buy, then that’s probably not too hard to set up and moderate. But if it was more of a curated site like the one Anna mentioned, it might require a bit more overall management. Plus it’s more limited/exclusive, so although you could always be sure of finding quality work, it would only be showcasing a tiny proportion of the fantastic ceramics that are produced in studios across the country. It would be great to have a democratic site for ceramicists of all types to be able to display and sell their work. Just like a remodelled Etsy I guess! Surely someone has the nous and interest to be able to set something like that up? I bet it would pay for itself too, there’d be so much interest in it …
        (Yes raku! Highly addictive and fun process with exciting results … I’d love to expand into other dimensions such as woodfire etc but too much exploring to do in the low-fire neck of the woods yet! See some pics if you’re interested at

        1. David has said ‘No!’ to vague ideas I had of putting together WordPress and its ecommerce and marketplace plugins, but it would not be too hard to do. Perhaps it is just a matter of jumping over the mindset of only selling smaller/low postage items on Etsy and establishing a groundswell of fantastic ceramics for sale there.

  2. it would be good if there was an Australia version of the site: Online Ceramics based in the UK. (on FAcebook) One of the big hotels in Sydney has a big display of UK pots because the interior designer found it easier to choose from his/her computer than go looking for local wares.

  3. Hi Judith… I have an Etsy store… though I don’t list woodfired works as I usually list smaller items that don’t incur much postage (a factor in the buying process) However, i do have some woodfired works that i could send you images of, if you are interested in taking a look 🙂

    1. Hi Dawn, I saw your store on Etsy and will contact you about your woodfired work. But in some ways this is the nub of the problem for us – it would be great if there was a place where we could browse recent work by Australian potters/ceramic artists, get an idea of pricing and postage costs and make our selections the way we do in the secondary market place.

      1. I don’t have many woodfired items on Etsy…. I could send you some images, prices, etc…. Etsy is more about small retail items than ‘art” items – for me anyway 🙂

  4. Fascinating discussion … I have the Etsy app on my iPad but haven’t really thought about its strengths and weakness. I was looking at it initially more for jewellery for gifts and hadn’t thought about ceramics. Seems sensible to use it for ceramics though … anything can be mailed, really. (Husband just sold a tripod on eBay – made his box from an old flat screen TV carton in the garage, and mailed it!)

    1. You have to wrap ceramics so the box can be safely drop-kicked from the front door to the car and postage can be hefty for larger items sent interstate but generally things do arrive safely through Australia Post.

      1. Oh yes, I appreciate that … Tricky with awkwardly shaped pieces in particular. Tripods are awkward and fairly heavy but pretty sturdy. But, as you say, can be done with care.

  5. Another Australian potter on Etsy is Anita Reay, Queensland Potter. She has her own website as well. Be good to add her to contemporary pottery makers. She does a lot of specialist work in Australian and other animals. All handbuilt.

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