A Moment in the Artist's Corner with Tatsiana Shevarenkova of Cosset Ceramics

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Sydney-based, Belarus-born Tatsiana Shevarenkova is the creative mastermind behind Cosset Ceramics (and co-founder of sculptural candles FAUM). Her work is refreshing and feminine, all smooth curves, voluptuous figures and neutral hues. And that craftsmanship and dedication to detail have us wanting more.

What is your philosophy and overarching aim when it comes to creating?

I look for sculpture everywhere.

My curiosity and enjoyment of form lends itself to imagining how a traditional object might be turned into a sculptural object. Curiosity for me is foundational and the overarching aim – where there is one – is to make something beautiful without losing functionality. We’re often used to the way objects are presented. I typically look at a thing; a lamp, a planter, a side table, a candle holder or a candle itself and ask what if were different? How would I make it? It’s less about product design than how sculpture can be integrated into our daily life while remaining functional.  

In your wardrobe and your work, what colours, patterns and motifs are you most drawn to and why?

My wardrobe turned into a pallet of white since I started sculpting. Working with clay or beeswax means having your clothing stained imminently after taking it out from the laundry. Light-coloured clothes play an incredible trick in hiding clay stains and make me look half-decent during the day.

In my practice, I'm less drawn to playing with colour than accentuating form or silhouettes and this is also true for my wardrobe. That might be a complicated way of saying my wardrobe is practical.

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What is your typical outfit for a day of making?

My everyday uniform consists of loose, unrestrictive clothing. Mostly it’s white or beige pants combined with an oversized shirt or perfectly fit top. It’s been very convenient to throw a Reliquia Collective jacket on, and a couple of rings for a mid-day meeting, which makes me look like I’ve been prepared all along. 

What does a normal day in your life look like?

My schedule fluctuates, but it starts at 6:00-6:30 am. If I'm not out of bed by 7 am I'll have a micro anxiety attack, so normally at this hour I'm already holding clay of beeswax in my hands.

I typically head to Dowling Street in Woolloomooloo. This is where I melt, pour wax, and make sculptural beeswax candles for FAUM - a company I founded alongside Jai Winnell of Hermetica Flowers. Or I might stay at my studio and work on commissions, sculpting and making a mess out of clay. Either way, ideally, I work with both mediums throughout the day.

Meetings, calls, discussions, and troubleshooting are part of one long day that finishes at around 9 pm. By that time, I'm fairly exhausted and ready to rest. Occasionally, when I don't have meetings scheduled for the morning, I enjoy this time stretching in vinyasas. Those are the best days.

faum candles tatsiana shevarenkova

Tell us about your studio. What is your interior aesthetic and how do you curate an inspiring space?

I discovered my new studio space accidentally. The building is called Darlinghurst Place and I'm occupying a two-storey unit. It was love at first sight and I signed the lease on a whim. The building used to be a part of a chocolate factory in the late 19th century and later turned into apartments. It has a fascinating history and has retained its charm.

It makes me feel inspired each day, just the way it is. I think it has a lot to do with lighting and the general atmosphere of warmth and comfort. Every room is filled with reflective rainbows, sparkles and sunshine. My working space also has glass brick windows, which reminds me of happy days as a child in Belarus. The interior aesthetic I hope to build isn't dissimilar to how the space was when I found it. It's neither minimal, industrial, or extravagant but homely with care to detail and light.

Where do you find inspiration?

Oh, what a question!

I'm obsessed with Apartamento, PURPLE and Re-Edition magazines.

If I feel lost creatively, I head to bookshops and libraries. I like how unpredictable those visits can be. My top three destinations are The Cross Art + Books, Schaeffer Fine Arts Library, and Lifeline book fairs (with honourable mention to Kinokuniya). There I start by researching my favourite artists (Louise Bourgeois, Henry Moore, Sophie Calle, Ana Mendieta, etc.) to discovering artists I haven't heard of before. Some of my latest finds are Alina Szapocznikow, Geoffrey Bartlett, and Vadim Sidur.

Instagram accounts like @rarebooksparis, @regardpiscis, @bruisesgallery, @therascalhouse, @domicile.file have never let me down in my attempts to find something interesting.

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Can you give us your top 3:

Self-care strategies

Hot yoga. Sauna. Time away from work (ideally spent by the ocean, or bushwalking).

Not-so-guilty pleasures

Sleeping in. Vintage shopping. A bag of chips.

Feel-good tunes

Animotion - Obsession

B.W.H. - Livin' Up

Tony Esposito - Caucciu

Foods you could happily consume forever

Macadamia nuts in honey. Inari with seaweed. Broccoli.

Are there any other up-and-coming artists we should keep an eye on?

Grabko Ivan

Lana Launay (see her journal here)

EJ Son 

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Imagery @cossetceramics

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