On the corner of Fitzroy’s Gertrude and Young streets is an eye-poppingly colourful store bringing together fun and functionality. It’s the new home of Takeawei Ceramics.
When Chela Edmunds started out in 2013, “It was just me doing everything … one bag of clay and a really old pottery wheel,” she says with a laugh. But since then, the local label has gone from online-only to bricks and mortar in Edmunds’s “dream location”.
And it’s impossible to miss – not least because of the large, radiant outdoor mural Edmunds commissioned Melbourne artist Rowena Martinich to create.
The Takeawei team has a studio in Torquay where all its ceramics are made by hand – and where it hosts workshops for those interested in getting some hands-on experience. And at the Fitzroy store there’s an ever-changing rotation of multicoloured, pastel-hued creations: interestingly shaped vases, statement fruit bowls and platters, and tableware. There’s also a range of “boobs”, or boob-shaped jewellery boxes.
Plus, a different limited-edition mug is released each month (here’s a glimpse of what you might find). “Once it’s sold out, we move on to the next style,” says Edmunds. “This way we can kind of get one out and everyone who wants it can get it – and then we just move on creatively.”
As well as ceramics, Takeawei sells other bits and pieces to help cosy up your home: Edmunds-designed woollen blankets (made at the Geelong Weaving Mill), bed linen and loungewear by Society of Wanderers, and works by local artists including Martinich.
It’s not just a shop, though. Upstairs is a beautifully appointed Airbnb – a petite one-bedroom hideaway called Gertrude’s Apartment – which has all the same charm as the store and shows just how well some of the most popular pieces can work in situ. The space has beautiful timber floorboards, a cushy lime-green couch, Aussie-designed chairs and side tables, and a secluded, leafy balcony.
Gertrude’s Apartment costs $120 per night and is bookable online.