Founded by chance and spontaneity, it was an everyday conversation for co-owner and ceramicist Chela Edmunds that laid the foundation for Guild of Objects, a recently opened Melbourne design store that features handmade ceramics, textiles, and other works by Australian makers. Chela was in the space one day, talking to the previous owner about her desire to relocate her children’s clothing store, when she learned there was one year remaining on the lease. Chela rushed back to her nearby studio to share her crazy idea with fellow ceramicists and studiomates Brooke Thorn and Tao Oudomvilay. Though they’d never talked about opening a store before, the location and space seemed like a natural fit — so they jumped in.
Guild of Objects fills an interesting gap in Melbourne — a store that isn’t quite a gallery, but is far from a gift shop. Each object — handmade by an Australian maker and often one-of-a-kind — has a story behind it, and as Chela showed us around the space, it became clear that she has a wealth of knowledge on this front. Quality materials and an emphasis on craftsmanship are central to each piece — otherwise they wouldn’t be here. The store often hosts workshops (and we’re actually dying to attend the next one, hand-building ceramics with SU fave Leah Jackson), furthering the impression given by the name ‘Guild of Objects’: that the artists, and all who come through the doors, are somehow united in their craft.
As we picked out our favorites in the store, Chela took us on a tour of the space, giving us the low-down on each piece.
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