From as far back as Fleur Schell can remember, she knew she needed to spend large chunks of her day building things with her hands. She loved playdough and Sculpey from a young age and remembers building lines of teapots with strange ears and large teeth out of clay along the edge of a dam on her family’s farm in the wheatbelt region of Western Australia. During Fleur's school days, she was labelled the kid who was good at art. With the rules surrounding numbers and words always seeming rigid and slightly illogical to her, she would gravitate to the art room at secondary school - a mindful environment where she lost track of time and where there was no wrong way to go about doing things.
After school Fleur studied a production pottery Diploma at Perth TAFE College, followed by a Visual Arts Degree at Curtin University and Post Graduate Honours at the University of Tasmania. Art school was the most normal and liberating experience for her. Amongst like-minded creatives, it was a place where she was able to get lost in the act of making and where day-dreaming was seen as a fertile library of ideas and solutions.
Once Fleur finished university, she spent several years travelling to other parts of the world to work in art schools and artist studios to earn a living and refine her distinctive voice through clay. Later she returned to Perth, Western Australia, to raise a family with her husband Richard and launch a clay centre and international visiting artist residency.
Everything changed the moment Fleur's children Heidi and Harry were born. She says her world literally transformed from shades of grey to sublime colour. Informed by the conversations and perspective shared by both of her children, she now spend my days telling their marvellous stories through clay. Sharing in their childhood has deeply influenced Fleur's art practice and helped her stay connected as a family in a world in constant flux. Heidi and Harry remind her that the most interesting stories unfold while we are busy waiting.
Made in Western Australia.