One of the many reasons we love calling Byron Bay home is the incredibly inspiring folk who also reside in the area. We are lucky enough to have struck up a friendship with the beautiful Lauren Campbell, also known as Sit Still Lauren, an exceptionally talented ceramicist. You may be familiar with her stunning pieces, famed for their intriguing glazes. It is such a joy to go to a few of our favourite cafes around town and sip on a coffee from one of her handmade mugs. We thought we would take the chance to get to know Lauren and her dog Nippa a little more at home in her beautiful farmhouse in the hinterland.
Tell us a little about Lauren, and how you found yourself living in the beautiful hills in the Northern Rivers?
For the best part of my 20’s I worked for the dollar in Sydney's CDB within financial firms, consultancies & event management companies, and I was pretty miserable knowing that there was a little creative girl inside, trying to talk to me but I wasn’t sure how to listen. It was my Dad who triggered a change. He said to me “Loll”, as my family calls me, “you realise that you are the only person in our family that works in an office”. My mum was a nurse, dad a fireman, brother a cabinetmaker & sister a jeweller. After this little lightning bolt moment, another voice started chiming in.
For the first time in my life I started listen to my heart instead of my head. I made a few shifts & started studying design. Kind of delving into the interiors world, I volunteered by doing work experience within a few interiors firms & stores. One of those stores stocked works by ceramicists, Anne Ronjat. It really & truly took my breath away. It certainly was love at first sight with both her work & the craft. I didn’t know it a the time but she & that moment certainly changed my life.
What is your favourite part of your home?
My bed is where it’s at. It's where all the dreams are made.
What does the day in the life of Lauren look like?
It’s not a wild ride but my day kick starts with Nippa dog walks, swims or yoga. After that every day is completely different. Being a small business owner means wearing a billion different hats, which certainly creates one dynamic rollercoaster ride. Whether it be prototyping wares for restaurants, throwing mugs on the pottery wheel, working on socials, shooting, getting my science geek on with glazing, firing the gas kiln, or the bookkeeping & on & on. Every day has a completely different story.
But my all time favourite part is pushing through new personal boundaries on the wheel as I get older as a potter.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find my inspiration from all sorts of places. Not one specific thing. Japanese pottery, Korean pottery, Byron Bay. There are so many amazing makers, designers & innovators around here. It’s hard not to bounce off them.
I guess, mostly my ideas come from reading books, watching old decadent movies, the ocean or just driving through the countryside. I have moments where I think I see or hear something, like my eyes play tricks on me for second, only to take a second glance or blink and it was just a rusty bucket, or branch or a medieval vase. That little trick of the eye often leads to a beautiful new idea. Strangely enough that’s where the bulk of my ideas come from. That, and the combination of intention + happenstance. Setting off with an idea, allowing it to evolve into something completely different. Letting go of control and embracing the evolution of what it wants to be as opposed to getting stuck on the outcome. Letting go of expectations is something you have to quickly learn as a potter.
How would you describe your personal fashion style?
Its an ever evolving mish mash of Byron Bay's home grown designers, Sydney's beach life & op shop finds. But 90 % of the time my daily uniform for studio life, mostly consists of overalls & boots.
Any guilty pleasures?
How much time do you have? Ha! My guiltiest pleasure would would have to be eating swiss chocolate coated macadamia nut balls whilst watching the lowest rating rom coms out there. Full disclosure.
What is next for Lauren?
I'm currently working on a conceptual exhibition. I'm delving into a completely area of work. The date is set for 25 Jul 2019 and I’m so very nervous but I cannot wait to show it in Byron Bay. I hope to see you guys there.
Lauren wears the Harper Jumpsuit - online now.
Bailey Jumpsuit - Online mid July
We think they look mighty fine on her.
Photographs - Molly O'Neill