Four friends, all TAFE Tasmania Art School graduates, have joined creative forces to launch their new ceramics venture, aptly named CLAYmates. Even the business name gives an insight into their quirky and clever talents.

TAFE Tasmania: from Art Students to CLAYmates!

TAFE Tasmania CLAYmates
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Exhibition for CLAYmates Ceramics

Leaving the safety of studies behind, the enterprising women are now looking to turn their passion for clay into a viable and sustainable small industry.  By joining forces, they can motivate and encourage each other, while still maintaining their individual flair.

Dawn, Janet, Lynn and Robyn obviously spend countless hours creating their unique pieces.  It must be difficult to entrust their completed designs to customers after such a demanding process.  However, I am the proud new owner of a pair of original and eccentric critters, acquired while attending their first exhibition and sale.

TAFE Tasmania Creative Outcomes
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Critters made by Lynn Hasenkam

Rather than TAFE Tasmania, on this occasion the group was sharing centre stage at the Lady Franklin Gallery in Lenah Valley. The historic building (headquarters for the Arts Society of Tasmania), is an interesting venue for tourists and Hobart locals at any time. The sandstone construction has a Greek temple facade and was built in 1842 by order of Lady Jane Franklin, wife of then Governor of Tasmania.

Nestled in park lands in the foothills of Mount Wellington, the setting was an inspired choice by Lady Franklin. Her goal was to enhance appreciation for the Arts by providing access to mediums including painting and sculpture in an architecturally suitable building. The resulting museum (and now art gallery) would have been a great respite from the reality of harsh colony life for the people of Hobart.

Lady Franklin Gallery, Lenah Valley
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Lady Franklin Gallery, Lenah Valley

Whatever the history of the building, and however the talent is inspired, these TAFE Tasmania Art School graduates (and now CLAYmates) are off to a great start in their artistic juncture.

TAFE Tasmania is now referred to as “Polytechnic“. More information can be found at the government’s education website.

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Map: Lady Franklin Gallery Lenah Valley Tasmania