Interview with Elnaz Nourizadeh
Elnaz Nourizadeh is an experienced potter known for her fabulous mugs and use of vibrant colours. Elnaz takes a moment to tell us a bit about her practice, and her favourite places in Melbourne. You can visit Eli’s studio this coming weekend, for a chance to see her at work.
Describe your Craft cubed Festival Event.
This is a two day pottery demonstration event.
On day one, I will demonstrate making ceramic vessels, including preparation of the clay, wheel throwing, forming, trimming and finishing.
On the second day I will demonstrate the process of making clay sculptures step by step.
During both days a table will be available for both adults and children to get their hands dirty, play with clay and try to create something. This is a free event but some of my tableware will be available to buy in the gallery.
What is a typical day in the studio like for you?
I have two different types of days in my studio, one is creating things the other one is glaze day.
Normally I start my day with cup of tea in one of my favourite mugs and play a classical music such as Bach or Beethoven.
On creating days I check pieces that I made on previous days to see how dry they are. Then I wedge some clay to throw. Normally I throw 5 to 10 pieces a day. After I finish throwing I trim previous day’s pieces and work on their shapes, for the rest of day I experiment with some new shapes and sizes or if I have an idea to sculpt, start to make a sculpture.
On the glaze days I clean all of the tables and make my environment clean of any dust and take out all of my glazes and start to glaze. Normally it takes the whole day but if I have more time I make some new glaze tests.
You make both tableware and sculptures, do you have a favourite between the two?
It is very hard to pick one over the other.
I use sculpture to convey more well thought messages but in my tableware I express more raw feelings,so each of them has its own place in my work.
You are originally from Iran, how important is the ceramics culture there?
Yes I am originally from Iran, Iran has a very long history of art and culture and definitely in ceramics and pottery, in most of the cities you can find pottery but in 3 cities pottery and ceramic is the main industry.
Your mugs are beautiful and functional, what do you think makes a great mug?
When I was in Iran I didn’t like to make a mugs I only made a few tumblers for my family and friends. I think melbourne has changed my feeling about mugs.
I think a great mug is one that lets you enjoy drinking. I try to make the handles comfortable but in different shapes and sizes for different hands, and with my colors I try to bring a touch of modern design to the ancient functional craft.
What are some of your favourite places to visit in Melbourne?
Botanical garden is one of my favourite places, I like NGV and some few more galleries and parks
What is the best advice you’ve received?
Make what you like to make, do what you feel, and listen to your heart
What other events are you looking forward to at the Craft Cubed Festival?
Most of the events look interesting and I have tried to visit some but I am more interested in exhibitions and craft extras. I will definitely try to go to Pop Craft studio closing party and My Culture at the Ownership Project