Q Alison, tell us a bit about yourself …..
A My name’s Alison Arnold and my business is Red Bird Studio.
Q How long have you lived in Adelaide?
A We moved to Adelaide 20 years ago with our young family. It was a huge leap of faith but we felt at home immediately.
Q What do you enjoy most about living in Adelaide?
A Everything is in close proximity. The city is a very accessible. It feels local but offers a bounty of world class cultural experiences. Within half an hour of the city we have stunning hills landscapes, beaches and wine regions.
Q Why did you start Red Bird Studio?
A I have been making and selling pottery for over 30 years. In addition to my passion for making art, I love talking about the process and sharing skills. Now that I have a large enough studio space at home, I am able to teach others and introduce them to the endless possibilities that clay offers.
Q How would you describe what’s special about Red Bird Studio?
A My aim is to create a welcoming, relaxing space in which clients can feel confident to explore their creativity and ease any anxiety they may have about ‘making art’. Creative pursuits are so important for well being, mental health and happiness, and I believe they should be available for all. Clay is a unique medium that offers all these benefits as well as the opportunity to create almost anything out of what is essentially mud!
Q What’s new at Red Bird Studio?
A I’m excited about my new retail/display space next to my studio which I’m calling ‘The Littlest Pottery Shop’. Covid-19 has forced most artists to rethink the way they sell their work. With the temporary or permanent closure of galleries, shops and markets, many have turned to online sales. But I believe nothing beats the direct contact between maker and customer. The new space will be open once a week or by appointment. It gives customers an opportunity to see where and how the work is made, like a mini ‘Studio Door’ experience.
Q What are your favourite Adelaide places to eat?
A I love to go for early morning beach walks with my dogs followed by breakfast or brunch at local cafes.
Q What are your favourite Adelaide shops for furniture and homewares?
A I love browsing antique and vintage shops when I get a chance. I’m also a compulsive fabric hoarder. My favourite place is Eastern Silk at Mile End where I often find beautiful silk remnants.
Q What books are you currently reading?
A I listen to audio books when I’m working. Lately I’ve been listening to ‘A Man Called Ove’ by Fredrik Backman.
Q What’s on your current playlist?
A I mostly listen to BBC Radio 6 Music in the studio.
Q Who are your favourite Adelaide tradespeople?
A Parker Landscape Construction recently did some landscaping for us and laid a concrete slab in preparation for my new retail/display space. Brad and his team are friendly, easy to communicate with and efficiently carried out the work for a reasonable price.
Parker Landscape Construction
Q What are your favourite things to do in Adelaide and South Australia?
A Visiting galleries and exhibitions. Live music, festivals and wineries. Beaches and Belair National Park for walks.
Red Bird Studio is one of the fabulous places we visit on some of our OLIO Tours.