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Corner of the World: Anne Masters

Emma Macdonald

There is a voyeur in all of us. Come inside the private spaces and places of some of Canberra’s most interesting people.

Anne Masters, ceramicist and maker of AM PM Ceramics, Gallery of small things operator.

Anne Masters thinks about ceramics all day and all night – hence AM PM Ceramics – the name of her practice. It’s also her potters mark (Anne Masters Potters Mark) which goes onto every piece she designs and makes from her studio in Watson.

There she labours over intricate and delicate pieces using Australian clay called Southern Ice Porcelain. It’s a vivid white and has a translucence when used in finer works. She makes small dishes, glazed in beautiful colours such as soft celadon pale green, bespoke jewellery and has recently been obsessed with birds – producing small, handheld birds which are slipcast and pierced with a pattern.

Anne was awarded the Master of Visual Arts from the Australian National University School of Art in 2011 and in 2013 completed her first international residence at the International Ceramic Research Centre in Denmark.

She was actually in Denmark when she was first sent a link to the house by her husband. She had eyes only for the studio at the back, and then realized it was her bosses’ home and it was on the market. She moved immediately to purchase it.

In 2016, she was completing a marketing course and was asked to “think big” and come up with that ultimate goal.

“I wrote down three words – ‘own a gallery’. This was pretty left field but it made sense as I have an extensive background in the arts having worked for local galleries, arts government, and currently at the ANU School of Art and Design as well as being an artist myself. I wanted something unique and to bring art to the suburbs.”

For Anne it’s about “community, access and connecting my neighbours (whether they are in my street or in the next suburb) with each other. I also wanted visitors to experience art in a comfortable environment so that they can build their confidence to buy affordable art.”

GOST operates Thursday to Sunday 11 am to 4 pm. For 10 months of the year, it showcases a stable of artists from the visual arts-ceramics, glass, jewellery, textiles, objects, painting, photography, and print media before an annual group show in September.

“Then for one month over Christmas to the end of January I close the doors to have a lie-down. Don’t we all!”

Anne never tires of walking through her French doors to the studio to see the artwork living there.

The public reaction to the space is similarly pleasing.

“People love it. They love the fact that it’s really small. Comments like ‘geez, it looks like a gallery’ cracks me up…because it is a real gallery with real lighting, white walls and a picture hanging system. Children and teenagers enjoy the space too because I engage with them and ask if they like art, school and generally most kids feel included in conversations because it’s not a space where they have to be quiet, they can’t touch…or get bored.”

Anne grew up in Belconnen but adores her leafy inner-suburban existence.

“I love the fact that Watson has a rich history of Italians, Greeks and Finnish residents who lived on the outskirts of Canberra back in the 60s. The irony now is that Canberra has grown so much that we are virtually inner-inner north. I don’t really want to relocate anywhere….unless it’s Lyon, France. I can see GOST becoming a pop-up gallery in a petite apartment with a small poodle to top it all off.”

Photography: Thorson Photography

This article originally appeared as part of our Corner of the World editorial in Magazine: Home for Autumn 2018, available for free while stocks last. Find out more about Magazine here

 

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Emma Macdonald

Emma Macdonald has been writing about Canberra and its people for more than 20 years, winning numerous awards for her journalism - including a Walkley or two - along the way. Canberra born and bred, she’s fiercely loyal to the city, tribally inner-north, and relieved the rest of the country is finally recognising Canberra’s cool and creative credentials. More about the Author

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