From mud to magic, potter moulds his business into a success
FROM spectacular messes to spectacular vases, Warwick potter Rob Cullen has come a long way since first buying a pottery wheel on a whim more than a decade ago.
There were hours upon hours of trial and error as Mr Cullen attempted to teach himself by watching YouTube videos.
"It looked a lot easier than it is,” he said.
"I spent the first couple of hours thinking, 'Oh God, why did I decide to do this?'
"Then somehow I made a cup, then a bowl, and it gradually just got bigger and better from there.”
As Mr Cullen fumbled with the clay in those early days, he had no inkling his new hobby would soon become a source of income for his growing family.
Through his Etsy store, Robert Cullen Pottery, Mr Cullen gained nationwide recognition for his fine forms and trademark glazes.
"It's a struggle to keep up with stock in the shop,” he said.
"Cafes from all over Australia order 20 or 40 mugs at a time.
"Each day it's becoming more and more popular and more of an income.”
As a full-time maintenance man, Mr Cullen has little time to spare and fills most of his orders over the weekends.
Some pieces, such as the vases he recently sold at an art exhibition in Stanthorpe, take up to eight hours to complete.
"There are a lot of failures because they have to make it through two firings and it's not uncommon for them to crack,” he said.
"It's a lot more involved than people give it credit for.
"But when it turns out and you get a nice glaze, and a nice form, it's just wonderful.”
Mr Cullen is inviting Warwick to get involved in the magic during an open studio for Australian Ceramics from 10am Saturday and Sunday.
The event will be held at The Mud Hut at 90 Quigleys Rd, Deuchar.
For more information phone 0411 968 853.