Wednesday, 30 September 2015


“Ceramics is an interesting balance between tangible, tactile design and freedom of creation,” Natalie Rosin says. She came to it while studying architecture. Initially Natalie was enrolled in a Bachelor of Architectural Studies at UNSW but it was during this time - and when she went to Cornell University in the USA - that she started to take ceramics seriously. “Architecture can at times appear too abstract or largely technical or practical, where the concepts and ideas from your mind translate onto paper or a screen and remain there for months to years at a time,” she says. However, Natalie has found a way to combine her two interests. Her ceramic work has been included in exhibitions in Sydney at Chinaclay, Damien Minton Gallery and M.Contemporary.

Which five words best describe you? Intuitive, experimental, contemplative, introverted, brown. 

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? My career began at the start of my architecture education. During the undergraduate degree I spent half a year in the USA at Cornell University in New York. The time spent there provided a greater sense of drive and through architecture and art courses I developed a stronger appreciation for art-making processes. While then completing a Masters in Architecture, I began readjusting the earlier perceptions I had formed of traditional model-making mediums. By taking my emerging practice in ceramics and selecting clay as tool for design, I believe new architectural typologies regarding form can be found.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? I’ve learnt the value of patience. Ceramics has many processes, multiple firings and countless periods of waiting for pieces to dry. You also become more accepting of chance, becoming aware that each firing may not translate to the initial idea. A piece could explode or warps in the kiln. When understanding clay’s limitations and working with these constraints, often playful and untold forms are created. 

What’s your proudest career achievement? Receiving recognition for the work I’ve developed so far in this early stage of my career.

What’s been your best decision? This is a challenging question. At least one worthwhile decision I’ve chosen has been to take those steps and enroll in a College of Fine Arts ceramics course at my university. This was definitely a very gratifying and rewarding choice. 

Who inspires you? People who don’t think about what they should do. Instead they know what makes them happy and follow this path. “People create their own questions because they are afraid to look straight. All you have to do is look straight and see the road, and when you see it, don't sit looking at it ­walk” - Ayn Rand

What are you passionate about? Exploring new ideas and processes. While studying architecture I gained access to a variety of digital tools for architectural model-making and prototyping. I developed an interest in experimenting with laser cutting processes on clay forms. These experiments were fascinating, often not having a clear idea of the result was exciting, and I hope to continue this inquiry in the near future. 

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? My mother’s father. I never recall meeting him. He was a photographer from Germany. I believe we would have had a lot to talk about. 

What dream do you still want to fulfil? I hope to experience an artist-­in-­residence position and really focus on my ceramic practice while embracing the local architecture of the chosen location. 

What are you reading? I just finished the Jennifer Egan book Look at me and finally got around to reading Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.

images courtesy of natalie rosin

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