A conversation with Caroline C

It is one of our most popular product ranges to stock - you guys can’t get enough of them and we cannot get enough of the women who make them. We’re talking about CAROLINE C Ceramics, and the brand goes far beyond being simply ‘a product’.

Pictured above: Caroline, founder of Caroline C 

To shine a little bit of light onto these two women, Caroline and Kim we thought we’d allow them to do the talking. Warning: They’re as good as us at it, so settle in! We promise you’ll love CAROLINE C even more by the end of it.

We check in with the girls in person twice a year at each annual trade fair and every time we do, it’s like catching up with a couple of friends. They’re warm, relaxed.. and their display is always absolutely gob-smacking which tells you just how talented they are.

Picture it, walls of handmade ceramic art in neutrals, monochrome, coastal and earthy colours. All of the elements we love and know you do too. However the girls didn’t start with such a large range.. so how did CAROLINE C get to where it is today?

"Caroline C started with little ceramic quote tags that I used to make to add onto presents and give to friends. My friends started to order them and then their friends and so that’s where I started to see I could expand with a range of cute quotes and tags for gifts that wouldn’t be thrown out and would become treasured little gifts in themselves" 

Pictured above: The making process in the Caroline C studio

Were you always working in the creative industry? If so, would you mind giving us an insight into your background.

"I studied Industrial Design in NZ and then did further study in London studying Interior Design." 

Pictured above: The making process in the Caroline C studio

How would you best describe your brand and what would you like people to most remember it for?

"Our brand is simple, minimal, monochromatic in design and graphic - we love the fact that it is handmade in our little studio and each piece is made for the individual buying/receiving. We often catch ourselves standing back looking at our pieces and saying ‘omg I love this!’ yes I know…weird but true. We make a lot of personalised pieces for weddings, christenings, funerals. Its nice to think someone has put thought into selecting a gift for their friend and we have been apart of the process in getting to make it for them."

Talk us through the making process, do you have a favourite part? Is it the same for each of you or do you bounce off each other?

"We each have our individual jobs creating each piece. It has taken a while to master a system in our studio so we can work efficiently and fairly quickly. Each ceramic piece is handled up to 10 times in order to complete it so it’s far from a quick process. As I’m not an incredibly patient person it has been a process for me to learn to not rush and with ceramics there is no quick way of doing things or you end up with a lot of failures!"

Pictured above: The making process in the Caroline C studio

We love the female energy in an all-girl squad of two - How good is girl power! What would you say the benefits of working in a small, all girl team of two are? How did Kim come to become part of the CAROLINE C team?

"I met Kim at school where both our boys attended. We became good friends and she occasionally helped me out with orders. This soon turned into the hours increasing as the orders became more frequent -  I wouldn’t be doing what I was doing if I didn’t have laughs along the way! And Kim who fancies herself as an amazing singer/dancer keeps me entertained. That reminds me…I must do some more sneaky videoing of her for my Instagram story!"

Pictured above: Kim (Left) + Caroline (Right) in the studio

Prior to founding CAROLINE C did you train in ceramics? What was the most beneficial lesson you learnt from this if so?

"No I didn’t train in ceramics however my mother painted ceramics for many many years and I used to paint with her as I grew up. After I finished interior design in London I was offered a job designing kitchens and bathrooms for a German company in Portugal. It was a great experience designing for all the beautiful Portuguese villas that were on the golf courses in the Algarve (South Portugal) It was there I admired the workmanship that went into all the hand painted tiles that covered the outside of buildings. Even the street signs were beautifully painted tiles. So I imported these tiles back to Australia and then started to paint my own tiles. This led to wall art and homewares."

Pictured above: Caroline with her car and dog when living in Portugal

If you could give someone just starting out in ceramics one piece of advice, what would that be?

"Have fun…enjoy the entire process of being able to transform a block of clay into a product. Just start small and feel your way."

We mentioned in our opening that we believe the brand goes far beyond being simply ‘a product’, we say this because of your thoughtful process and nature of these handmade pieces, in particular those with quotes. Do you ladies have a favourite quote? And is there any new ones you could give us a sneaky hint about on the horizon?

"Hmmm good question! We take a lot of care about selecting our words/quotes for our pieces. We both prefer a little more edgy in our vibe, sometimes not having the entire quote spelt out but you get the gist through some key words. We love words, and we do have a new range which we have been sampling which is wall tiles. I have a really good feeling about them and already have a couple on my walls."

What is something most people don’t know about your designs?

"A nice touch we like to let people know about is that you can personalise the tags by writing a message on the back side of the tag or wall hanging. We get commissioned to make wall hangings in the shape of crosses and hearts for weddings and christenings and I think that in years to come its always really special to look at the back side and see a personalised message from the person who gave the gift."

Pictured above: The making process in the Caroline C studio

When designing a new piece or range, where do you turn to for inspiration?

"Observing nature. I remember my mother always saying to me ‘nature never makes mistakes’ so when looking at patterns and colours its an endless source of inspiration. My years living in Portugal has had a huge impact on the way I see design and also travel….we have just returned from Scandinavia and the homewares, product design and interior design was incredibly inspirational."
What can we expect next for CAROLINE C?

"Organically shaped pieces fired to higher temperatures that are dishwasher and microwave safe and can be enjoyed eating from every day. Wall tiles with words."
We're excited to see the next chapter of CAROLINE C unfold and cannot wait to catch up in Melbourne in August. We'll make sure to keep you guys in the loop and let you know when Carolines new range is in store.

So there you have it - an insiders look at the brand that is CAROLINE C. Two clever, super creative and warm women.