Prue Venables’ handmade porcelain vessels look as if they were designed for domestic use. They could be used, but for Melbourne-based Venables it is their reference to possible rituals of use that is more significant.

In contrast, in 2003 Venables had the opportunity to design tableware to be manufactured for the Japanese domestic market. She won third prize in the second Jan Ken Pon World Design Competition held at the Oribe Design Centre at Gifu City, Japan.

This was followed by an invitation in 2004 to work as artist-designer in residence at Oribe. The aim was to design a set of tableware to be made in ‘greenlife’ recycled fired porcelain by one of the local Japanese manufacturers. Her ‘Oliva’ range was put into production by the Yamai China Company in 2006.

Venable’s work was included in the 2007 Powerhouse Museum exhibition 'Smart works: design and the handmade’.

Grace Cochrane, Powerhouse Museum
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