Form & Function


Kim Aitken will be attending June’s market with her unique ceramic pieces. While she hasn’t been at the market for a year, her little ceramic masterpieces were a constant feature at Shop Handmade and her popularity stems from having something for everyone’s taste and colour scheme. Combining colour, texture and pattern is one of Kim’s favourite decorative techniques and her inspiration comes from a range of sources. “Anywhere there is movement, shape, colour and texture. Flower gardens, the built environment, the coastal landscape. Fresh fashion and textiles also interest me,” says Kim, who sees the influence of colour and pattern everywhere she looks.

Having worked full time in her ceramics studio for the last six years, Kim still finds intrigue in clay, which challenges her both artistically and scientifically. “It is physically demanding yet somehow meditative. Working with clay requires patience and knowledge and there are variables within the process you cannot control, so it is a wonderful feeling when work is completed with success.

Most of Kim’s work is slip cast using plaster moulds. She tends to incorporate some hand building and slab building techniques and occasionally throws her creations on the wheel. “I was very lucky to have some great teachers when I studied so am able to put my hand to a few different techniques.” Where Kim uses patterns to enhance her pieces, they are produced using transfer papers and the colours are so true as a result of the Australian white clay she works with, fired to 1240 C degrees. This makes the clay strong, which suits Kim’s practical nature. It’s no wonder then, that the majority of her pieces are functional tableware.

New to the June market will be some larger pieces, and some use of a darker clay and new glazes to complement Kim’s signature range.

Based on NSW’s Central Coast, Kim loves coming to Canberra for her Handmade weekend. “To be a  part of the Handmade market is such a privilege and takes some of the stress away from the challenge of making my work, combined with running a small business. It is a wonderful event where the opportunity can be limitless as a maker.

She also sees Handmade as a place to showcase, test and sell her work to a wide audience, and to spend time with like-minded people and swap ideas, not to mention the shopping! “I think a person or persons who create, teach, promote and believe in the sustainability of a handmade ethos are to be truly admired.  There is a strong energy that goes into the support and promotion of this ethos at the Handmade Market and I for one feel very lucky to be part of that energy.

We’re lucky to have you Kim, and can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store for us at the market.



Caroline Leevers is responsible for the Handmade brand, including the website, Handmade Style, the newsletter and the online magazine. When she's not hanging out with the lovely Handmade team, she runs Callie & Co Design, a Canberra graphic design studio that crafts brands for small businesses. Her favourite things about Canberra are the seasons (especially Autumn), the big sky, the coffee and the great events.


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