Meet the Maker: Chela of Takeawei
Chela Edmunds is one of Koskela’s oldest and most beloved ceramics suppliers!
Visionary creative Chela Edmunds started making ceramics in 2013. Koskela immediately fell in love with her whimsical style and put in an order – her very first! In the years since we have continued to support Takeawei as it has steadily grown. We are the exclusive Sydney stockist and fans of the brand come to us to shop her latest collections.
Takeawei’s fresh delivery is the first we are launching as part of Clay Club. This new initiative gives Koskela subscribers exclusive access to shop a new collection from our amazing ceramicist partners 72 hours before everyone else!
We are also launching a new blog series: Meet the Maker - Q&A’s with ceramicists to find out more about their craft and the ups and downs of running a small business. So without further ado, meet Chela of Takeawei.
What triggered you to start making ceramics? I was working in fashion as a textile designer but most of the design work was done on the computer so I was really craving something more physical where I could get my hands dirty. Clay is perfect for that!
How long did the skill take to develop? About the time I started Takeawei I had been practicing for 2 years, I felt confident enough then to put my work out there but I must say I learn something new everyday. Like any skill you get better with time and practice. I enjoy the challenges that clay presents, processes change with the weather, the equipment and materials, nothing is static.
When did you establish Takeawei and how has the brand grown? Takeawei was established in 2013 in Melbourne, I had a second hand wheel and a few bags of clay with a tiny hallway set up as my studio. Koskela was my first order right at the very beginning and I was over the moon! I remember working around the clock to get the order complete. My pottery wheel was so old and slow it would nearly stop while in use but it got me through the whole first year of business until I could afford another one. In 2016 I moved my studio to a much larger space in Torquay where I teach wheel classes and make my work. Takeawei has now grown to a small team with a new retail space in Fitzroy that opened in November 2018.
What inspires each new collection? New work is a constant and comes from playing with materials in the studio, my love of nature and necessity...making the things I want to use, like soup bowls because I really feel like eating soup lately.
What is the most rewarding part of your job? Making pieces people love and that become part of their daily ritual. Creative freedom. Flexibility in my schedule.
And what is the hardest part? Wearing many hats in a business when some days all I want to do is make. Asking for help.
What is next for Takeawei? New rainbow like glazes and pieces that I have been wanting to use at home myself, soup bowls, large serving dishes, water pitchers and dinner plates. The range is growing and I can't wait to see how people collect my work and put it together.
Photo credit: Indie Lane