A haven for ceramics lovers can now be found on the Central Coast
One of Australia’s largest clay producers, suppliers and online retailers, Keane Ceramics have opened a phenomenal new space on the Central Coast in West Gosford that is sure to become a mecca for ceramicist lovers of all levels.
Keane Ceramics was established in 1979 by Roger and Margaret Keane, in 1999 the family business baton was passed down to the brother and sister team of Babette and Giles Keane whose passion and love for the ceramic industry evolved that Keane brand to being known as “Australia’s favourite clay”. In 2021 Babette took the reins of the company as Director with an innovative vision that has now come to life.
The new warehouse and retail store in West Gosford is an impressive upscale from their previous location in Somersby as Babette explains,
“Our manufacturing site had a small office which then became a shared space with retail offerings. We squeezed as much as we could into it. As we grew so did the needs of our customers. It became clear, we needed a space with room to expand.”
“I bought the property in 2020 and made a start on the design straight away. Being a blank canvas I saw this as a once in a lifetime opportunity to design and custom build the joinery to suit our products. The result is the creation a unique instore experience for our customers. This also followed into back of house which has a beautiful workflow for our staff and expanding team, which I’m proud of.”
Today what you find at Keane Ceramics retail is an incredible ode to Roger and Margaret and the passing down of a traditional craft from one generation to the next,
“Mum was a ceramic artist and was teaching and making before I was thought of, we all grew up with mum working from her studio attached to the house, we would always be in and out of the studio watching her to make and sell. Dad would also be sculpting."
“During this time it was popular for people to buy their dinnerware from potters and that’s what mum was doing, making domestic ware. You didn’t have the option to and buy a $2 glazed plate like we do now.”
“I joined the business in 1992, I had studied business, but found myself working in fashion and merchandising which I loved but needed a change, and the family business was growing so I started helping out on the business side of things.”
“Up to that point I knew a fair amount growing up with two accomplished potters as parents, and learning a great deal from Dad while working with him. It was at this time I decided to enrol at Hornsby TAFE to study Ceramics, where I got to explore making and glazing techniques and gained a greater respect and love for ceramics.”
For those who love pottery on any level Keane Ceramics is going to become your go-to for clay, tools, equipment, supplies and artistic inspiration with Babette explaining,
“We manufacture about 40 different clay products, in different forms, we make throwing clay in the modelling form, as well as powder and liquid for slip casting.”
“We don’t actually make any finished ware; we manufacture clay, and we stock all the supplies and the goods you would need to actually set up your own studio or make your own work”.
For those looking to source some beautiful, finished pieces you’re also in luck with the new Keane retail store stocking a collection of ceramic work from Australian artists using our clays.
“I wanted to have a space where we could buy back from our clients, their finished wares as a way of supporting them and making their work more accessible, which people are loving.”
“It’s one thing to admire ceramics on social platforms but it’s a whole other thing to see, touch, and appreciate the work rather than buying from a screen. We have our own mini gallery space which is drawing people in to buy the one of a kind pieces for loved ones and themselves”.
When asked if there was some piece of advice or words of wisdom that Margaret and Roger have passed on Babette says,
“There isn’t one thing that I can put my finger on, both my parents were extremely hard workers and very grounded people. One thing that stands out is they taught us to never quit. Not bad lessons to away from your childhood, from two loving parents.
“It’s a very special feeling to be able to take their dream of seeing the business successfully expand to ensure the future growth they laid the foundation for come to fruition. They were so proud on the opening weekend.”
Whether you’re an established potter, sculptor or those looking to take up a new hobby, or just love to browse a beautiful display of one-off pieces, take a visit to Keane Ceramics.