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Q&A: Illyswall

23 FEBRUARY 2021

When ceramic artist Hyeyoun Shin first moved to Australia, she felt she needed something to make the spaces she lived in feel more homely. Hyeyoun began decorating her walls with flowers and small pictures. When she came across a pottery association near her home, her obsession for making beautiful homewares began, and so Illyswall was born. Explore a range of Illyswall at MoB Shop.

How would you describe Illyswall?

I aim to make objects that have strong relationships with people; to bring joy into your everyday life. In other words, my finished works are not fully completed until someone takes them home!

When did you feel the first urge to pursue ceramics? How did that make you feel?

I’ve admired ceramic art since I was a high school student. The art school I attended in Korea specialises in visual design, ceramics, photography and woodcraft. My major was visual design but I was always curious around other majors and ceramic works left an impression on me. Since then I always had a desire to learn ceramic art.

When my family settled at the Gold Coast I came across a pottery association near my boy’s school so I felt like I was meant to be there no matter what. I had no hesitation to contact them and that was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life.

Illyswall ceramic sculpture. Courtesy Illyswall.
Which part of the process of making ceramics do you enjoy the most?

Definitely hand-building time! Most of the time I sketch an idea first, when the sketch comes out as a real form of new life, I get so excited like a child.

Your pieces exude a sense of joy, what inspires you to create?

This is the most difficult question I am often asked. I think inspiration comes from all parts of me and every path I take in my life. I try to enjoy things around me no matter how small or big. I do have a deep side too as no one’s life is ever easy, but I always try to see the bright side even in the dark.

Illyswall ceramic sculpture. Courtesy Illyswall.
What does a day in the life of Hyeyoun look like? Tell us about your creative process.

My day is often the same as the mother of two kids. I always try to have a ‘me’ moment to put on my make-up, wear my favourite clothing, and choose earrings carefully even in the craziness of mornings. This routine is important for me to enjoy starting another day of ‘everyday’ life. I drop my kids off to school then get stuck in at my home studio. I often forget the time when I work with clay, so I have to set an alarm to pick up my children! I like to sketch ideas in my bed before I go to sleep – it’s an old habit since I was young. Fun ideas always pop up when I’m sleepy!

Do you have any exciting projects coming up for Illyswall?

I’m not the kind of person who makes big plans for the year. I just try to live every day sincerely, always trying to be a better person. I believe this attitude of life helps me to be a better artist day by day.

SHOP ILLYSWALL.

Illyswall ceramic sculpture. Courtesy Illyswall.

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