Hannah Doody chats to Mel Lewis about how her minimalist nature and love of ceramics led her to create her online store, Antler and Moss.
How did you come to start your label, Antler and Moss?
Antler and Moss came from my intense love for beautifully crafted tableware, especially artisan ceramics. I’ve collected ceramics for many years and wanted to put together a collection of locally handmade pieces in timeless neutrals with loads of texture and beautiful form.
Where did your love of ceramics come from?
I love that ceramics are functional pieces of art, created from earth. They really add personality and soul to your home, much like books do to a space.
When did you start to contribute to The Showroom? Has it been a benefit to you in terms of gaining exposure?
Showroom is a brilliant space and platform where online stores and artists can showcase their homewares. Our first Showroom pop up was last year in their previous residence in Paddington. It is wonderful getting the opportunity to display all the gorgeous Antler and Moss pieces out of their boxes. Ceramics are so tactile and each piece has its own unique character and markings due to the handmade process. I really love seeing people interact with the works and being drawn to a certain piece.
How would you describe your designs?
The Antler and Moss vibe is strong contemporary black and white pieces, contrasting with timber and earthy hues to create warmth. Antler and Moss is all about the juxtaposition between edgy antler strength, and soft delicate moss – balancing contemporary with earthy.
Is there something in particular that inspires your style?
Our house was such a massive hands-on renovation and has now become my muse for the brand. If the piece works in our home, then it will work cohesively for the Antler and Moss website. Black, white and loads of plants to bring nature and life. I’m a minimalist at heart and can feel overwhelmed by too many belongings. The pieces I do invest in for our home are handmade pieces build for longevity that I truly love.
Do you outsource to create your designs?
I work with many Australian artisans and essentially take the essence of the creative work, and adapt their designs slightly to fit the Antler and Moss aesthetic. It’s loads of fun and we and up with something different.
Are you interested in clay work yourself?
Do you hope to be able to create your own designs one day? No, I’m not blessed with the patience required to create beautiful ceramic works. I will leave that to the pros. Collaborating with artisans is my creative outlet.
Do you see your store expanding it’s offering in the future, if so, how?
It would be brilliant to have a bricks and mortar space in the future, but at the moment I am loving packaging up the online orders and doing pop ups. I love the idea of organising an annual artisan collective event, to showcase the incredible talent we have in the Brisbane region. I feel Sydney and Melbourne artists have a wonderful community vibe, and I’d love to help create more of that here in Brisbane.
If you could collaborate with any artisan in the world, who would it be?
There are so many awesome Australian artisans that would be amazing to work with. Bridget Bodenham, Katia Carletti, Mel Robinson, just to name a few!
What is one tip you could give for incorporating ceramics into your home?
I am a big believer that you should purchase pieces you connect with and you know you will use, and don’t save your favourite pieces for ‘good’, why not enjoy them every day? Live in the now!