• Kate Neilson

A moment with Milly Dent

"Find your creative voice and then develop it so your work is unique and stands out."

Sydney-based ceramic designer Milly Dent wants to fill your dining experience with thoughtfulness and beauty.

With a studio nestled in the Inner West's thriving Marrickville, Milly spends her days pursuing her passion for handmade goods, creating stunning wares for both practical and decorative use.

Milly took the time to speak with Twenty Something Humans about some of the things she loves most and gave us a glimpse into the life of someone who's successfully turned their side hustle into a full-time gig. That's the dream.

What three words would you use to describe your 'vibe'?

Practical, interested and optimistic.

What inspired you to create your own ceramics business?

The material of clay is so rewarding and engaging. I love that I have control over all stages of making, from design and prototyping to making and firing and then exhibiting. It also grew organically with friends buying the work, then friends of friends, and eventually there was enough momentum for me to set up a studio and start making full time!

What's your favourite piece that you've designed?

My favourite piece I’ve designed would be this piece, “Almighty” for my last exhibition at saint cloche, Blanc Feelings.

What are your top tips for turning a passion project into a full-time gig?

Find your creative voice and then develop it so your work is unique and stands out. I think it’s important to find specialty or difference in your work. Also, do what you love and others with no doubt love it too.

What (or who) inspires you the most?

I’m inspired by patterns and textures in nature and in my daily life. The idea of making meaningful tableware is based around the concept of making daily dining rituals more interesting or exciting. There is also a long list of artists whose work I am inspired by!

When do you feel your most creative?

When I am away from the studio dreaming up ideas, or when I am caught in the meditative process of physically making a form which has repeat elements.

What makes up your ideal weekend?

Some ocean time, good company and some good food and wine!

What's the best thing about your hometown?

The Brisbane River is a real highlight, but I suppose the real highlight is just being with my family.

What's the most impactful piece of advice you've received?

Do what makes you happy.

What's the last podcast that you listened to and loved?

Hidden Brain – it’s the best!

What's the last book that inspired you?

Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee.

What song is bound to put you in a good mood?

The Bottle – Gil Scott Herron.

What are you working on at the moment?

A series of works for an exhibition running in conjunction with the Australian Ceramics Triennale in Hobart, inspired by Tasmania’s plant life.

Keep up to date with Milly's work by following her on Instagram @millydent.

Images: Amy Piddington.

Kate Neilson is the founding editor of Twenty Something Humans. She likes to eat her morning toast in bed and feels awkward writing about herself in the third person. You can lurk her @katiepotatierose.

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