Teachers Thriving Issue #2 | Page 56


Chaos and Calm in Ceramics

Ceramic artist and high school art and media teacher, Larissa Warren shares her handcrafted porcelain vessels in this Arts Feature.

Having taught since 2001 in south-east Queensland and the United Kingdom, Larissa Warren currently teaches part-time in senior art and media at Coomera Anglican College on the Gold Coast; she has been there for 12 years.

Larissa attended the Queensland College of Art at the old Seven Hills Campus graduating in 1998 with a Bachelor of Fine Art, majoring in photography. She then went on to complete her Bachelor of Education (Secondary) in 2000 through Griffith University at the Mount Gravatt Campus.

As a high school Art and Media teacher, a ceramic artist and mother of two children, Larissa juggles many roles.

"Teaching is my main occupation, so I am quite selective with the projects and commitments I make. With two young children and also our family’s electrical company, I am conscious of how much can be achieved."

When asked about the challenges in her work, Larissa describes the commitment required for administration versus time in her studio to create.

"At times developing a style and building up my art career can seem like a slow burn. Applying for and being involved in national and international awards and exhibitions is very time consuming and hard work."

"I wish I could be making 100% of the time, but the reality is administration is a massive part of being a successful artist. I’m in the studio about 50% of my allocated time."

"Everyone has their own approach, but for me, I know that time management is essential. I balance my time between developing my skills, learning, and researching, and then just getting on with it. This relates not just to my art but the business side as well. You also need to make opportunities for yourself and others. I feel that luck has nothing to do with success."

Larissa's art practice operates as Ratbag Studios, reflective of the affectionate nickname her husband of twelve years has given her.

Her interest in ceramics and current style has developed in recent years.

"I’ve always been interested and worked with clay, originally with more hand building and figurative works. I started concentrating on coloured clay and slip casting three years ago. In 2016 I was accepted into the Gold Coast International Ceramics Art Award and won the People’s choice award. This was a good point in my career where I realised I had a unique technique and approach to clay - combining patterns of mixed clay and colour into porcelain."