June 5, 2018 Creative, Product

Ceramic studio and gallery.

The exciting bit is fitting out a shopfront just the way you want it, filling gallery shelves with beautiful ceramic pieces and having a madly successful opening. But that’s never where it starts!

After graduating with a Degree majoring in ceramics in 2016, Eva Giannoulidis enrolled in the NEIS program in early 2017. Eva knew her skills would be best served running her own studio and gallery; a business she named Ceramica Mechanica.

Ceramica Mechanica’s home is in Strathmore, north-west of Melbourne, in what was previously a mechanic’s workshop. Undertaking a lease and renovation is a big venture. Working through the NEIS program before getting started helped Eva find potential pitfalls, set goals and get stuck in with greater confidence. The decades of grease and dirt made way for an incredibly colourful and exciting creative space. The gallery and store fill the front space of the large studio warehouse, which is also home to Eva and her partner and fellow artist, Jasper Killick.

“I feel incredibly fortunate to have had support from the NEIS program. My mentor Paul was extremely helpful during the difficult early stages of getting the business started.”

By November 2017 the shop fittings were completed and the shelves were full. The front walls of the warehouse were painted lilac and beautified with a mural. At the grand opening event Eva sold forty ceramic pieces. The Christmas period also generated overwhelming sales and a lot of local interest.

Rich pastel colours and textures are evident in Eva’s distinctive ceramics. From functional food-safe vessels to ornamental, one-of-a-kind artworks and bespoke jewellery, Ceramica Mechanica prides itself on offering sustainable and beautiful locally-produced work direct to the public. The word continues to spread through the local area, assisted by regular updates on Facebook and Instagram showcasing glaze combinations, works in progress and design details of the unique pieces produced by the studio.

By early 2018, classes and workshops had become the focus of the business. In the early days, lessons were one-on-one but have since grown to couples, groups of friends, children’s birthday parties and special functions. The studio also offers a kiln firing service. A regular and growing client base has led to the purchase of more equipment to meet demand; including a second electric kiln, a second pottery wheel and a pug mill.

From the range of ongoing classes at Ceramica Mechanica, the feedback for Eva’s teaching is positive. The enthusiasm and knowledge she brings, creates a great environment people enjoy visiting and working in. The future is looking bright for Ceramica Mechanica!

What’s your passion? Take the first step to starting your own business with NEIS. Use the postcode search tool to locate your nearest NEIS provider.

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