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 20’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.
what’s one of the most important things you’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!
what’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