Meet the potter: Minna Graham
Right from the start of our journey at Yugen Tea Bar, we wanted to collaborate with locally-based artists: artists with the will to create tea and plate-ware to match our brewing style, shop and our vision. Luckily, we knew a few of them from previous collaborations but were also fortunate to be introduced to a few new ceramists and potters and started a new community. In total, we worked with five talented ceramic artists (Minhi Park, Andrei Davidoff, Sophie Harle, Minna Graham and Lai Meng), all with different backgrounds, inspirations, and styles.
Over the year, we will introduce you to each one of them, sharing their vision and art. Let’s start in regional Victoria, more precisely in Daylesford, with Minna Graham, Minna grew up roaming a large rural property in the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales, immersed in a rich world of nature and creativity. She comes from an artist’s family, with her late father a sculpture and mother a printmaker.
Exploring Australia during early adulthood, Minna observed life in the remote and harsh landscapes of the country. Then through her travels, she spent time learning traditional pottery and firing techniques in Myanmar, East Timor, Cambodia, Japan and Europe. On settling in Daylesford, Minna enrolled in a Ceramics Diploma at the University of Ballarat in 2009, which she completed in 2012 and was awarded the Brian McLellan Award for outstanding achievement.
Minna creates contemporary functional teaware, tableware, and accessories, using various methods and traditional ceramics techniques. Her work is an intuitive response to her natural surroundings, focusing on balancing the contrast between textures and surfaces to express seasons, cultures, and traditions.
“I create to express my emotional relationship to my surroundings. In this way, I explore how the experience of a landscape or culture can be simply conveyed through ceramics.” Minna