The Solo Quattro Collection: Interview with Milly Dent

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From cinema, to cooking, to design, authenticity and attention to detail goes hand in hand with Italian craft. And this ethos is the inspiration behind out first collection made entirely in Italy featuring four distinct frames — Solo Quattro (or, just four). Manufactured by Barberini in Italy, our custom tinted glass sun lenses allow for the highest level of optical clarity. And as always, we’ve partnered with Mazzucchelli to produce acetate from their family-run Italian workshop. 

The Solo Quattro collection fuses different and diverse elements of acetate to create vibrant, almost kaleidoscopic layered colour. Experimental colour combinations and exaggerated shapes compliment intricate and embellished design to make this a truly unique handmade collection. 

To celebrate this exciting new range, we’re paying homage to those who work with authentic design and traditional artisan methods; creators who do things the old-fashioned way. Introducing our first featured artist, Sydney-based ceramicist Milly Dent.

Milly's handmade ceramic vessels feature her distinctive marbling and structured geometric pattern work, creating sculptures that are equal parts ornamental and functional. We sat down with Milly at her light-filled studio to chat about the nature of her craft and how this skilful attention to detail spills into other areas of her life. 
 

Milly DentWhat are three key ingredients you need to get you in a creative headspace?
Music, Coffee and Clay.

Do you have any routines when making art?
When I get to the studio I put on some music and open the kilns to see the previous nights haul. I spend the morning mixing and colouring clay, and pouring molds. I love the afternoon sunlight in my new studio, so spend that time working on new forms, sanding, glazing and packing orders. 
For new projects, ideas begin on paper and soon become smaller prototypes. I then make bigger forms, make moulds, add pigments to clay and start casting new forms. Depending on the project, I tend to make a number of the same form then play around with the way they are finished. 


What’s one piece of advice you’d give someone starting out in your field?
Find your specialty or difference and work on that to establish your creative voice.

Who are your top three favourite artists or artisans?

At the moment, I am loving the work of Claire Pony, Holly Greenwood and Vipoo Srivilisa.

Milly Dent

Does your focus on artistry and craftsmanship flow into other areas of your life? 

I think subconsciously it definitely does! The way I make and plate up food for myself tends to be over the top! Also choosing what cup to drink my tea from is always a lengthy process! I think most areas of my life are directed in some way by my interest in texture, color and aesthetics. 

Milly DentLeading on from that question, can you give us a tip on where to get the best quality Sydney...
Coffee: Coffee Alchemy, Marrickville
Pizza: Vacanza, Surry Hills 
Cocktail: Bloody Mary from a can at The Norfolk 
Outfit: Service on Oxford Street 


And finally, how long has to taken to feel like you have mastered your specific craft? Do you feel like you have? Or is this is a constantly evolving goal?
I am constantly trying to develop, improve and extend my craft knowledge. I am always researching porcelain's rich and diverse material history, and feel like there is plenty to still learn in the world of ceramics! I have only just begun to understand the material.
 


Find out more about Milly at millydent.com or follow her on Instagram at @millydent

Photography: Chris Loutfy 

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