Handmade Canberra Logo
Handmade Canberra Logo

Words by Tina

Tina Thorburn is the maker behind Clay by Tina. Just about to embark on her second Handmade Market on 10 & 11 December, she will be bringing her stoneware homewares and planters. We asked her our five questions.

1. What is your business all about?
It started as a hobby business and is now my full time job and it’s all about clay. I think about clay all the time and I dream up new things to try. I actually find it hard when I get an order for 100 of the same thing because my mind is always wandering to try new things with the glaze, or the shape or even the mix of clays. So I guess my business is all about learning. I have had to learn on my feet through this whole process and I joke with people that I’ve learned more in this last year of starting Clay by Tina than I did in my previous 3 degrees. Its a blessing to have this opportunity so I guess its a blend of learning and blessing.

2. What advice would you give to designers coming to Handmade for the first time?
The advice I would give to new designers to Handmade is use the Helping Hands service. I forgot because I was running around trying to finalise everything but as the only person at my stall the days were long and I totally could have used the help. From all accounts I have heard they are fabulous and that couple of minutes off your feet is heavenly. I look forward to using their services in December!

3. What’s the best thing about Handmade?
I just love being part of a big market. There is a lot of buzz, and the other stall holders are lovely. I find the customers to be varied and interesting and interested and I credit this to the size of the market and breadth of stalls which attracts a range of people. I hadn’t done a big market like this before and I was on cloud nine after September from all the energy in the room!

4. What’s new for the Christmas Market?
I’ve been working on a number of different things. Clay is such a fantastic medium and I am excited to be bringing some jewellery and some smaller ‘stocking fillers’ including tiny bud vases and some ceramic Christmas tree ornaments.

5. What will Santa be bringing you this year?
Oh good question. This is not a joke, but Santa (aka my loving father) is going to get me a cow. My studio is out at his property in rural Victoria and I’ve asked for a Highlander cow to keep me company, and I’m as excited about Christmas as I was when I was a kid (actually more so!)

We share your excitement Tina! See you 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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