Shelly Campton is an Australian ceramicist and interior designer from Forbes NSW. Shelly was new to the lineup for our most recent Handmade Market in August, and we are soooo very glad we've found her. We traveled to Forbes to see Shelly's massive warehouse studio where she runs her business SCID Studio to find out more about her.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
I am strongly influenced by the design industry and have had the chance to see, use and specify for clients the best quality products available. In my own work I am always striving for quality and longevity and simplicity in lines. I like organic and soft shapes that are not too complicated. I am anti-trends which is hypocritical in the industry I have worked but if you make the right choices with your purchases then they should last a lifetime and hopefully still have value to be passed on and not end up in landfill.
I love earthy finishes – clay (obviously), timber and leather. I am always drawn to Scandinavian style design and products. I also LOVE pattern. Black and white patterns in particular but it really depends on the pattern. The canvas of my ideal home has white (textured) walls and neutral floors such as timber and then the functional objects and artworks are colour, colour and pattern.
Talk us through your design process.
It is not so different being a creator of product to being an interior designer trying to find the solution to a problem or need. So far I have started out making objects that I would like or need in my own home. I then start with a notebook sketch, a 1:1 scale drawing of the object onto paper followed by making the object out of a solid material. I need to keep in mind with each model that the final product will be about 15-20% smaller in size due to the shrinkage of the clay.
I am still experimenting with what is best to make the model out of. I started out using a dense foam and have recently just been using a school grade clay. Next I am going to try using timber – I just need to work on my wood working skills!
After the model is complete I cast the model in a specialty plaster. It takes about a week to fully dry and is then ready to start using. If I am happy with the final result then I might make a few moulds of the same object – all with their own unique quirk.
My customers are then the decider of whether a product is successful or not. Everyone interprets the use of each piece slightly differently. A tea cup for one person might be a wine tumbler for another, or a toothbrush holder, or a vase….
What do you love about living in the Central West?
The space! Evident in the studio I now have. If I was living in Collingwood then I would have 3 other potters sharing the space I have.
I also love the community that I have around me. It has taken me a while to establish some close friends but the circle of friends grows all the time and I love that I can see these people so often.
I also love the larger towns surrounding – especially Orange. Orange has so much romance to it with the focus on wine & food and is not too far from Forbes. The designers, artists and creators in Orange are so supportive and continually striving for greatness and quality. I am so honoured to be a part of The Journey Person collective and the opportunity to be a part of the passion that these creators and artists bring together.
What’s next? Any big plans for the future?
Where do I start? I am working on new functional wares; more limited edition hand painted works; I am still learning new techniques with clay and have been working on a series of hand built sculptures based on the illustrations of my daughter. I hope to exhibit these some time next year. I have so many ideas and at times I don’t know what to start working on first! There are also few projects still under wraps….