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Fleur Schell


I received so much enjoyment and success across all the arts at MLC that, on leaving, I had great confidence and self-belief to pursue a career in the visual arts.

My greatest professional achievement has been to sustain a successful, independent and broad-reaching ceramics art practice in WA.

My husband Richard Hill and I are the founding directors of SODA (Sculptural Objects and Design Australia), an international ceramic residency and studio facility in North Fremantle. It hosts visiting artists from Australia and overseas, and has been the vehicle for the sharing of clay knowledge and the nurturing of the ceramics arts across Australia.

We opened the The Clay House to give people of all ages and experience the chance to come and have fun making things with clay without expectation or pressure.

Working with clay encourages you to think laterally, to look at problems from different perspectives. It trains you to open your mind to possibilities.

There is validity in making mistakes, getting messy. If things crack and fall apart you can start a new journey.

I have been a perpetual maker in the visual arts all my adult life but nothing compares to my greatest creations – my two, inspirational, young children, Heidi and Harrison.

Before Heidi was born I hadn’t made childlike figures in clay. She changed the way I saw the world around me and gave me license to engage with my own childhood.

Heidi showed me how to look at clay in a fresh way. The world went from black and white to colour.

The happiest people I know have successfully discovered how to make their life, their passion and their career intrinsic.

My amazing Mother’s wise words continue to resonate with me: “When you are young and impressionable, all you need is one thing to hang your hat on.”

My advice is to hurry slowly, be true to yourself, think laterally and believe that with persistence there is always a way to achieve your goals. Take care when saying yes and rarely say no.

On MLC: I missed home terribly but I have very fond memories of growing up amongst wonderful friends on the beautiful school grounds. We had a very privileged back yard – beautiful views of the river, we’d play tennis on the grass courts in summer and swim in the pool on the weekends.




28 October 2022