meet Peta Armstrong

Peta Armstrong's earthly ceramics are brought to life in her backyard studio, 
in surfie-burb Torquay . . . read on to learn more about this super-creative dreamer & maker.  

tell us about your creative background & studies

I completed a Diploma of Fine Arts in Ceramics at the end of 1997. I then deferred my assessment and stayed on for another year so I could continue working on my technique. I then went on to co-create a small venture with some of my fellow graduates - a shop front with studio space that also offered pottery classes. I found at that stage of my life I was lacking in all types of other life skills required to have the focus I needed. 
Completing Graphic Art & Design studies in 2006 lead me to a position as a pre-press graphic artist and designer for a screenprinting company. I loved this job as it required massive problem-solving skills. I also got on the screen printing tools when required and played a large role in general production management.

'never compare yourself to anyone else or what they are doing . . .'

In 2014 I joined my partner at his surfboard factory and started surfboard repairs and sprays. I still do his surfboard sprays and administration. Unbelievably, this had a huge influence on me returning to ceramics.

how did your craft begin and how has it evolved to this day?

I was in my early 20โ€™s and knew I wanted to be passionate about something so I enrolled in a few short courses - pattern making, creative writing, ceramics, etc - and ceramics stuck so I went for it.
After my initial business venture I kept my hand at, but only just, making a few things here and there. I stopped completely around 2004 and it's the best thing I ever did for my creativity. I STARTED AGAIN AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS YEAR (when my son started school) . . . YIPPEE!!!

is there anything or anyone that inspires you or your work?

Inspiration for me is everywhere. It can be a good documentary or reading about someone amazing - a creative or just a human that possesses true grit. N A T U R E. Music inspires me to no end. Painting and all other art forms. A good drive in the car works wonders. Anything that allows me to daydream, like exercise.

'Accept your limitations so you can smash through them . . . and then exceed them'

My partner is a huge inspiration to me! He works hard and takes risks. Someone, with a lot of clout in the industry, once told him that he was 'fearless' in his work . . . I have not been able to shake that. I want to be fearless!

what has your creative journey been like so far?

A M A Z I N G. I enjoy it and am exhausted by it, totally consumed.

whatโ€™s one of the most important things youโ€™ve learnt about being an artist?

Never compare yourself to anyone else or what they are doing - this is good for life in general. Your space is sacred.

'I let myself make whatever I want and never question it . . . I just 'do' 
and I never let thinking get in the way of an idea.'

is there anything you hope your artwork brings into people's lives?

I hope they enjoy using them and that they are involved in daily use to the point that they are almost forgotten, but sorely missed if lost!

whatโ€™s one of the most exciting things to happen in your creative career so far?

Every time I make is the most exciting thing to happen.

what do you love most about Australia?

The diverse landscape. The flora and fauna is out-of-control beautiful. The multiculturalism. The opportunity. The artists that are uniquely Australian. 

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Peta is the latest maker to join the store . . . visit the collection on her maker's page

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