Shop Stop: Guild of Objects
A store designed by makers for makers, Guild of Objects was born to fill the gap between a small business and the wider community. Three ceramicists friends, who met whilst working at a shared space studio, came up with the idea of a permanent retail space after they notice the increasing demand for works by local artists, crafters, makers and artisans. Attributed to the perfect timing with the flourishing craft scene, both an online and bricks and mortar store, Guild offers core support to the community whilst providing a fun, creative space for Melbournians at large. Inspired by their story, the Bloesem team caught up with Chela Edmunds, one-third of Guild founders, to know more about this Australian venture.
1. Tell us more about Guild of Objects. When did you set it up and what inspired you to do so?
We set up Guild last year in June. We are a retail space for Australian designers and makers. We stock ceramics – both functional and sculptural – clothing and textiles, jewellery, art prints and zines. There is also a space at the back where we use for workshops, pop ups and exhibitions. The three of us ( Brooke Thorn, Tao Oudomvilay and myself Chela Edmunds) met while making ceramics at our shared studio space in North Melbourne. Brooke has her namesake ceramics label Brooke Thorn ceramics, I make under the moniker Takeawei and Tao recently completed a Diploma of ceramics and is working on her label Tortoise. We all have creative backgrounds – I worked in fashion as a textile designer while living in New York, and Brooke and Tao both have backgrounds in interior design working for various Melbourne studios including Hecker and Guthrie and Six Degrees respectively. The shop is an outlet to showcase the work we do at the studio combined with the work of other makers we know and admire. We also aim to foster community involvement through workshops and exhibitions. Previously, we opened our studios to the public once a year and we realised there was a demand for the work of local makers and an interest in the process. This sparked the idea for a permanent retail space, but none of us really thought we had the time! When this shop came up for lease just down the road from our studio we knew it would be perfect fit.
2. We love how your shop support the handmade community in Australia. Share with us how it is like to work with so many inspiring makers in Australia.
It’s really inspiring to work with so many creatives that approach their practice in different ways and work in different mediums. We are a small store but we manage to stock about 50 Australian makers so as you can imagine it can also be a juggling act with our own creative practice and Guild…but its well worth it. We love being a part of the maker community in Melbourne, Its so supportive and the work being produced is of a very high standard creatively and technically.
3. What’s your star pick from the store?
I cant pick one, its just way too hard. We love all the work in the store and I think that’s what brings it all together.
4. On a typical day at Guild of Objects, you will see…
Jaw dropping ceramics, and a store buzzing with Melbourne creatives and passionate customers – lots of cakes from Beatrix on the counter too!
5. What’s the most popular class at Guild of Objects? Tell us more about it!
Our ceramics classes are really popular. We have recently hosted a hand-building workshop with renowned ceramicist Leah Jackson. Leah’s work is vibrant and playful, proving very popular, we have just added more more of her classes to the workshop schedule and we also stock her Memphis style colourful ceramics in-store.
6. Share with us your most memorable customer to date!
Our local member for the Greens, Adam Bandt!
7. What can we look forward to from Guild of Objects in the next 2 years or so?
The shop is in a really good place with so many fantastic artists on board. In the next couple of years we will continue to represent artists through the retail side of Guild while expanding our program of fun workshops and engaging exhibitions with local makers.
.. Photos by Linsey Rendell