Object: stories of design and craft

Object: stories of design and craft

Contemporary design and craft in Australia. Season 3 goes behind the scenes of the 2023 MAKE Award, Australia's newest and richest national award celebrating innovation in contemporary craft and design. Meet the winner Vipoo Srivilasa; and finalists High Tea with Mrs Woo; Julie Blyfield, Csongvay Blackwood, and Johannes Kuhnen. Hear from MAKE Award judges Jason Smith, Hyeyoung Cho and Brian Parkes. Season 2 is all about ceramics - production pottery, teaching and learning with clay, museum collections, personal collecting, working with galleries, and ceramics writing and photography. Hear from Ilona Topolcsanyi, Brett Stone, Jane Sawyer, Robyn Phelan and Eva Czernis-Ryl. Season 1 explores the Masters of Craft - nationally and internationally acclaimed Australian craftspeople working in ceramics, jewellery, textiles and metal. Why does their work matter? How do they keep going? What’s their advice for makers now? Hear from artists Prue Venables, Jeff Mincham, Lola Greeno, Liz Williamson, Les Blakebrough, Marian Hosking and Robert Baines, and go behind the scenes on the making of the 'Living Treasures' program with Brian Parkes. Object: stories of design and craft is by the Australian Design Centre. It's hosted by our CEO and Artistic Director Lisa Cahill. Production by Jane Curtis, with production support by Alix Fiveash. Sound engineering by John Jacobs.


December 19, 2023 17 mins

Host Lisa Cahill chats with master metalsmith Johannes Kuhnen. 

Johannes Kuhnen is one of the pioneers of anodised aluminium metalwork. In this episode, Johannes explains why he finds anodising annoying, and his design process.

Hear from judges Jason Smith, Hyeyoung Cho and Brian Parkes on his MAKE Award entry, Remnant Green.

Johannes Kuhnen is one of Australia's most well recognised silversmiths. Johannes' practice has remained ...

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Host Lisa Cahill chats with partners in life and work, Csilla Csongvay and Matt Blackwood.

In this episode, Csilla and Matt share the inspirations behind their work, what it takes to enter an award, and how they made a single sculpture from 100 pieces of clay.

Hear from judges Jason Smith, Hyeyoung Cho and Brian Parkes on their work, Walk the Line Version 7.


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December 4, 2023 20 mins

Host Lisa Cahill chats with contemporary jeweller Julie Blyfield. Hear how Julie's MAKE Award entry is inspired by love and loss. 

Julie Blyfield is a South Australian artist renowned for her work inspired by collected botanical specimens and forms. Using the traditional metalsmithing techniques of chasing and repoussé, Blyfield makes intricately textured pieces, which capture the essence of the Australian natural landscape.


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November 28, 2023 22 mins

Meet clothing designers High Tea With Mrs Woo.

Rowena, Angela and Juliana Foong are three sisters who run a clothing label that focuses on sustainability and ethical production and who collaborate on design, making, mending and more. 

In this episode, you'll hear comments from MAKE Award judges Jason Smith, Hyeyoung Cho and Brian Parkes.

And find out, Who is Mrs Woo? What are the innovative ideas behind their work Resilience Coa...

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Meet the winner of the Inaugural MAKE Award, ceramic artist Vipoo Srivilasa.

Vipoo tells us about the themes that inspire his work, the process of making the winning piece Diverse Dominion Deities, his strategic approach to the MAKE award, and Vipoo's ongoing charity project 'Clay For'.

Hear comments from judges Jason Smith, Hyeyoung Cho and Brian Parkes on what made this sculpture a prize-winning work. 

About Vipoo Srivilasa


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Series 3 introduces the winner, four finalists and the judges of Australia’s newest and richest award for contemporary craft - the MAKE Award.

This major new national award by us, the Australian Design Centre, celebrates innovation in contemporary craft and design.

Over five episodes you’ll meet winner Vipoo Srivilasa and finalists the Foong Sisters (High Tea with Mrs Woo), Julie Blyfield, Csilla Csongvay and Matt Blackwood (Csongva...

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Meet Powerhouse curator Eva Czernis-Ryl and hear

  • The skills of a museum curator
  • How curators select and interpret objects 
  • What makes a work of ceramics suitable for a museum collection?
  • The unique history of ceramics collected by the Powerhouse

And hear ceramic artist and former editor of The Australian Journal of Ceramics Vicki Grima on setting up a ‘living bequest’ fund for ceramics.

Eva Czernis-Ryl is an art and de...

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February 22, 2023 27 mins

Meet ceramics artist and writer Robyn Phelan and hear:

  • What makes a good piece of writing about visual art?
  • How she wrote about a Damon Moon exhibition
  • How can we get critique back into Australian arts commentary?
  • How to use writing in your arts practice, and
  • Tips for new arts writers.  

And, hear fine art photographer Greg Piper on

  • What makes a good photograph of ceramics?
  • How to get the narrative of your work ...
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What are the many ways to learn ceramics? How do you find your own sense of touch with clay?

If you’re thinking about a hobby class or applying for a university or TAFE course, what’s good to know?

Hear different approaches on teaching with clay, including from a Japanese production pottery, and a wishlist for the future of ceramics education in Australia. What’s on your list?


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November 23, 2022 27 mins

How do you start a ceramics collection?

Tips on collecting for beginners, how to collect from galleries, how to make a collecting group and how to administer and document your collection.

The guests are Brett Stone, artist, art dealer and founding director of Claypool communal pottery studios; Jane Sawyer, founder and teacher at Slow Clay Melbourne; and Jenna Price and John Kavanagh, ceramics collectors.

Hosted by Lisa Cahill, CEO an...

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Ilona Topolcsanyi makes bespoke tableware for some of Australia's most notable chefs. She’s even made plates that world leaders have eaten from, like Barack Obama, Angela Merkel and Xi JinPing.

Hear how Ilona designs and makes by hand large orders of beautiful, hard-wearing and functional tableware. 

Learn how she works with chefs as a problem-solver, figuring out how to make bowls where the sauce sits perfectly.

Ilona and her pa...

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November 9, 2022 1 min

From production pottery to learning and teaching ceramics, museum collections and personal collecting - this season of Object is all about making with clay.

Over five episodes you’ll meet Ilona Topolcsanyai, Brett Stone, Jane Sawyer, Robyn Phelan and Eva Czernis-Ryl.

You’ll hear from other artists too, and their advice for makers.

Object is a podcast by the Australian Design Centre. 

It’s hosted by Lisa Cahill, with producti...

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December 22, 2021 32 mins

In this bonus episode, you’ll meet one of the key people behind the original idea for the Living Treasures series of exhibitions - Brian Parkes. 

How did the idea of recognising Australia’s master craftspeople become a reality? Who chooses Living Treasures? 

How was the first Living Treasures exhibition made on a shoestring budget, maybe some shopping at IKEA?...

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December 8, 2021 26 mins

With a career spanning five decades, Robert Baines is one of Australia’s leading gold and silver smiths.  

Robert Baines makes intricately constructed jewellery and large-scale, sculptural, complex wire works that often combine gold and silver with plastic and powder-coated elements. 

Hear how Robert researched high Classical Greek gold jewellery and remade it using 2000 year old techniques, how colour takes on ma...

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November 24, 2021 23 mins

In a career spanning seven decades, Les Blakebrough has become one of Australia's most acclaimed and influential ceramic artists.

The ceramics of Les Blakebrough range from earthy functional ware to more delicate forms, made with the Southern Ice Porcelain - a material described as having ‘the whiteness of snow and translucent of ice'. In fact, he used Southern Ice Porcelain to make Tasmania’s wedding gift to Mary Donaldson and Crow...

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November 10, 2021 26 mins

Liz Williamson is known as a ‘matriarch of Australian weaving’. Hear what Liz’s favourite ‘magical’ material is, how darning and repair informs her work, and how she works with weavers around the world.

Liz Williamson is an internationally respected textile artist who specialises in hand-woven textiles.

Sometimes wearable and sometimes for display, the texture of Liz’s work is distinctive. It’s woven flat, and&nbs...

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October 27, 2021 26 mins

Jeweller Marian Hosking makes silver brooches, necklaces and vessels that are translations of the Australian bush. Hear why Marian thinks that souvenirs are underrated; the reason she still makes brooches and how she co-founded the iconic Melbourne open access jewellery space, Workshop 3000.

Marian Hosking is an award-winning artist, and is former Head of Jewellery at Charl...

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October 13, 2021 30 mins

Prue Venables is one of Australia’s most accomplished ceramics artist. Hear how Prue went from a career in science to pottery; how three tiny porcelain jugs changed everything for her; and her controversial advice for new makers.

Prue Venables makes porcelain vessels - like jugs and beakers, ladles and colanders - that elevate humble domestic objects to exquisite works of art. They are smooth and elegant, with a minimal colour palet...

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October 13, 2021 28 mins

Lola Greeno is an award winning Tasmanian Aboriginal shell worker and artist. Lola uses maireener shells, sometimes called rainbow kelp shells to make shell necklaces. It's the oldest continuing cultural practice in Tasmania. Learn about the role of insects in making a traditional shell necklace, how Lola creates for kids as well as adults, and what she wants every Tasmanian Aboriginal woman to know.

The Australian Design Centre rec...

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October 13, 2021 28 mins

Jeff Mincham AM is one of Australia's most prominent ceramic artists. Hear what it was like to witness the birth of the Australian Crafts Movement, how Jeff deals with success and failure, and his characteristically blunt advice to makers.

Jeff is known for his large, coil built, earthenware vessels. On these vessels are his dramatic, painterly interpretations of the South Australian landscape - the patchwork fields of the Fleu...

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