SALLY MAY MILLS
Life was very different for Sally before she discovered clay. For over a decade, she lived a slow and simple life on a beach in a remote Indonesian village, where the rhythm of the tides punctuates the day. A camera was her artistic weapon of choice, working as a lifestyle and food photographer throughout Australia and Bali. The digital nature of photography had her longing for a more physical manifestation of creativity, and her first pottery lesson in Bali was a revelation. She began her ceramics study in Japan, and was then awarded an internship at Gaya Ceramics Art Centre in Bali. Loaded with a vast and varied knowledge from many teachers, clay became her focus, and she returned to Australia at the end of 2017 to set up a studio in her hometown of Busselton.
Being close to nature in its purest forms is a priority in Sally’s life, and the ocean and Australian bushland greatly influence the forms and surfaces of her work. She is drawn to the approachable and non-threatening nature of functional pots, and she believes that handmade ceramics can influence a person’s everyday experience and enhance their daily rituals.
Pots have a deep and ancient connection to human life, which still resonates with many of us today, despite the dominant culture of mass consumption and speed. As a potter, Sally is part of that tradition, and is honored to share it with others through her classes and retreats.
Set on an acre of natural bush and organic produce gardens, in Busselton, Western Australia, the studio and adjacent house were designed and built by Sally and her husband. They are oriented to harness maximum natural light and a connection to the outdoors, and in fine weather, classes are held under a wide verandah, beneath the shade of peppermint and redgum trees. Six pottery wheels are available for wheel throwing lessons, and hand building sessions are held around a communal table. All materials and tools are provided, you just need to bring your creative curiosity and a willingness to get you hands dirty.