We chat with ceramicist Samantha McIntyre about the creative life at home. See Sam's work on Instagram @thesodafountain.

Can you tell us a little about your background? What has been your creative journey so far?

I came to Melbourne 4 years ago and did a short course in Ikebana. I then did my cert.4 in textile design where I learned so many beautiful skills using paint and textiles. I suppose this is where my painting stems from and my desire to use my hands led me to paint my feelings. Suffering from depression and having no luck with the general forms of therapy, I was looking for other ways to release some bad feelings and thoughts and my friend suggested coming to her pottery class. The rest I suppose is history. 8 months into the classes, lockdown happened and I picked up in my bedroom where I left off.

Did you study ceramics or are you self-taught? Do you have feelings or opinions either way about this?

I went to a little community centre where they held two-hour classes every night and that’s where I picked up knowledge about glazing and firing and all that... But I consider myself very rudimentary in my skills. I mould with my hands and my feelings. I would love to find a mentor or simply the time to research more about this beautiful practise and begin to experiment more with colours, etc.

What's your core philosophy about having a creative practice?

Create what you love and do it for yourself. Create because it makes you feel happier and more yourself than anything else you’ve ever done. Create beauty because you struggle to find it in your daily routine. Be kind on yourself and never settle for something until what you’ve made is what you’ve been dreaming of.

If you could make something for a dream client who would it be and what would you make?

Patti Smith - a dish for her table that she uses every day, and my late grandfather and nan… a vase for his roses and her orchids.

Tell us about some of your current inspirations.

My check ceramics are inspired by playing chess with my late grandfather during my childhood. He was my favourite person and this is something I miss doing with him. My thoughts can be rather obsessive and I’ve been daydreaming about this or black and white squares for years now. It made sense to paint them on ceramics. There are too many other inspirations to name. Museum trips, art books, libraries with huge halls and black and white check marble floors…

Tell us about your lovely home and rooftop garden. Do you have a studio at home? 

I live and work from my beautiful home. I have a desk space downstairs in the studio which I share with my landlord and best friend and I do all my painting in my bed/bedroom. On sunny days I venture out to my patio and paint under the blue skies.

What helped you stay sane during lockdown? Presuming you managed to do so...

Wine. My cats. My housemate and movie nights. My art. Facetime with my family.

What are you cooking at the moment? Any ingredients that you are obsessed with? Food inspiration is always a welcome topic!

Tuna pasta, too often... It’s the yummiest, most simple meal and I literally eat it every week. I tend not to get too adventurous with my cooking with so little time on my hands and to avoid any distractions.

What are your favourite local places to eat, drink, or walk around?

Back streets in Fitzroy are always nice to view all the seasonal flowers. I head to Amarillo for vino and yummy foods, as well as Neko Neko, and my patio with pizza en route via Ubereats... Marketlane or Patricia’s are my favourite coffee but I also I like to make it at home in my Chemex on my days off.

If you could have a couple of hours and vinos with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

My siblings and mama. We live too far apart now and 3 degrees of Covid separation makes me miss them all the more. Plus we are the biggest idiots with a glass of red in hand and full of giggles.