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In The Studio With: Love Ryan Ceramics

3 October, 2023


Ryan Der


Nick Tsindos

Ryan at work.

"Pottery was always a nice way to slow down."

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do? 

I’m Ryan Der, an American born potter,  living and working on Gadigal land. I have a small sea-side pottery studio above Mackenzie’s Bay. I spend most of my time doing commission based work, teaching classes and helping my community.

Tell us about your journey to ceramics and how Love Ryan Ceramics started?

Pottery was always a nice way to slow down. I started at The Temple of Mediclaytion in Venice Beach, California. An amazing studio in which Patrick Johnston is the fearless leader. I spent the next two years in that studio every free moment I had - I was obsessed! I’d work all day, straight to the beach for a run and then on the wheel creating until the wee hours of the morning.

Once 2017 came around and Trump won the election, I decided it was a good time to leave the states and go traveling hoping he’d get taken out of office during that time haha. For the next year I kept potting through Southeast Asia and then New Zealand until I ended up in Australia.


Studio tools.
Ryan behind the wheel.

"I’m constantly inspired by my wife, Alex. She is my muse and a total babe, who has continuously supported and encouraged me to pursue ceramics as my craft."

Where or who do you draw inspiration from?

I’m constantly inspired by my wife, Alex. She is my muse and a total babe, who has continuously supported and encouraged me to pursue ceramics as my craft. I also find inspiration from being out in nature, from my friends, and my students that are all so talented in their own disciplines and are still coming to classes to better themselves.

What do you love most about teaching and working with clay?

Empowering people to be right here, right now. It’s a really good tool to help you remain present and focused on what you’re doing. It’s like moving problem-solving!

Talk us through a daily ritual of yours? 

Coffee :) I made a pour-over and jug that I  have at home and in the studio. And I find it a really beautiful way to start my mornings and also to reset through my day.

Studio wheels.

What do you do when you are not in the studio? (Do you have any hobbies)

I know drinking and eating aren’t hobbies but let’s start there hahaha. I like being in nature and camping, taking photos, and helping people. I know that doesn’t sound like a hobby but giving my time to help friends and my community really does fill me up with joy.

What does 'home' mean to you? 

Home is where my cat is. 

Do you have any advice fr someone looking to get into ceramics or starting their own creative business? 

Do it! Hard work and dedication will get you anything. 

Ryan's studio.

Favourite book or movie? 

Step Brothers. 

Go-to comfort food?

Chicken thighs and steamed rice. 

Bush or coast?

Both please! 

Guilty pleasure song/music?

"No Tears Left To Cry" - Ariana Grande 

What was the first thing you made and do you still have it?

Set of cups for my mom if the first thing I ever made :) so no I don’t still have them, but that’s when pottery means the most to me, when you can share them with someone you care deeply about and they can have a piece of you with them always.

How do you take your coffee or tea?

I'm a purist. Pour over, black. 

Tell us a maker/designer/creator we need to know about? 

From California hails the incomparable Tara Johnson, my favourite artist. I've admired her work since her college days. While she primarily creates portraits, her art touches on all facets of culture, from music, to people, to everyday things. Her artwork provides a profound, poetic window into the human sprit. @tjwisco @floorsessions

Check out Ryan on Instagram @loveryanceramics

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