Kibi: Everything I Love About the New Wave of Australian Ceramics
Kibby (the artist behind the label Kibi) invited me to her home studio last time I was visiting Melbourne. We had a glass of white wine, overlooking her productive vegetable garden, on the patio of her inner north sharehouse.
When I first came across Kibi on Instagram a couple of years ago, she was making sculptural vases with decorative glazing. Kibby said she was using coil methods at this time because she wasn’t able to use the wheel due to a back injury she sustained at a protest rally. Artist + activist = my all round crushworthy woman!
I asked Kibby how she got into pottery. She said when she was travelling in New Zealand, she met an all-round character who had not only designed and built his own house, but had a studio where he threw massive vessels. Kibby said when she returned to Melbourne, she immediately bought herself a wheel and some clay and studied Youtube videos, and has pretty much never looked back.
Kibby has a background in graphic design, which I think is evident in her pottery: her wheel-thrown cups and slab vases have precise lines, glazes which remind me of patterns on fabric. But there is also a deliciously restrained wabi-sabi element in her pottery style - like a slight drop in the round handle, or the painterly glaze application.This balance between precision and organic beautifully exemplifies ‘craft based design’.
Kibby is passionate about clay. She talked about it like a person who had found her true calling, and artist who had found her medium. I think Kibby was hoping to inspire me to take a pottery class. Perhaps I will, but for now, I am just delighted to use and admire these contemporary ceramic wares!
I’ve been itching to stock Kibi in Elliott St. since my visit when I got to view her work in real life. This selection illustrates Kibi’s latest methods. For example, cups with black and bronze painterly waves; some with delicate round handles which organically droop, and some with solid bauhaus inspired handles.
I also selected a small oil burner (sensing that there may be some essential oil-loving folks out there - okay, I’m not selling you anything!), and a keepsafe - both patterned with singular bronze lines.
One of the design elements of these pieces is the ‘unfinished’ details. The majority of these works have a raw, earthy feel, which helps draw your attention to the simplicity of their forms.This includes the unglazed ceramic tea strainers (which fit beautifully with the coffee cups).
Check out our ceramics collection.