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Interview Series: Yon Kavvas of Claybird Ceramics

Claybird Ceramics are recognizable for their distinct organic quirks and perfectly imperfect personality.  All the pieces are designed and handmade by founder / creator Yon Kavvas, a process that requires patience and perseverance, a true labour of love.

Yon wearsFifi with perforated detailing from our High Summer Collection. Available for pre-orderHERE

We catch up with Yon in her Takapuna based studio to talk life, design and style.

Ceramic artist, business owner, mother of three, travel enthusiast and foodie! 

Sounds like a bit of juggling, how do you keep all the balls in the air?  Oh man, it can be so ridiculously busy,  especially with 3 school age kids. I have to be very organised with my planning otherwise the wheels fall off. This has happened a few times, and we do learn from these mistakes very quickly!  

What key pieces of advice (creative or business wise) were you given at the start of your career? Have a business plan - keep updating it when you meet goals, add to it as you go.  Keep your ideas to yourself.  Get an accountant. 

Thank you for sharing your studio with us!! So… this is where the magic happens? Yes the magic happens here.   Also mess. Lots of mess. I cleaned the studio before you arrived! ha ha!!  

Can you talk us through the design and making process? I have to say I get inspired by the places I visit. Sometimes I will notice something about a place and start drawing. Drawings turn into doodles which turn into more elaborate doodles.  Once I have a good direction I will start to break it down and simplify it again. (and again and again) It does take time to get to a place where I’m happy. Then I’ll start to paint the designs on greenware (which is raw/dry clay) and fire the ones I am happy with.  Ceramics is a labour of love - literally.

Each individual piece gets handled up to 15 times before it is finished and ready for sale. 

How do you manage custom work on top of your existing production? I have no idea how?!! But I work super hard to meet deadlines for retail orders and work in custom work around these.

Perks of the job?  I always have ceramics on hand for entertaining and an endless supply of gifts. Friends seem to find that rather good too for their own shopping priorities and last minute gifts.

Where can our readers find your work? At some cool retailers across NZ, markets or online

Favourite way to unwind? Popcorn and beer

 

STYLE FILES:

NZ brands you love and love to wear: Twenty Seven Names 

How would you describe your personal style: free and easy, relaxed with a pop of cool

What do you look for in a handbag? I love to wear one across my body, and one that not too many things can get stuffed into it, otherwise it becomes a Mary Poppins bottomless bag!

Do you change them out per-occasion or are you an all-in-one kind of girl: Yes - love to change depending on my mood or occasion.

What current Saben style are you thrashing: I have a fav Saben clutch which is my go to for going out. Simple, elegant, easy.

Which one are you lusting after: Ooooh so many! The Gita Croc really gets me going tho… 

We love the Baby Frankie with perforated detail! What drew you to this style? I’m a texture girl so anything that has a bit of texture or even layers of it is what I really love.

 

FAST FIVE

ya cawfee: flat white or long black - flat white

ya cheese: blue or brie - blue 

ya cocktail: mojito or dark & stormy - mojito 

ya bag: carry-all or cross-body - cross body

ya boy: brains or brawn - brains