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Vanessa Bean Shop Ceramic face vase on The Life Creative

Meet the Creative behind Vanessa Bean Ceramics (and Win a Vase)

The work of Aussie artist and designer Vanessa Holle from Vanessa Bean Shop has taken the world by storm, and in today’s post you not only get a glimpse into her world, but you get the chance to win one of her divine ceramic vases.

Vanessa Holle studio portrait by Marta Sasinowska on The Life Creative Vanessa Bean Shop

Meet the Creative behind Vanessa Bean Ceramics

It must have been through Instagram that I first stumbled across Vanessa Holle’s work. You know how it is; you’re scrolling through your Insta feed at some ungodly hour and then an image appears that literally makes you gasp because it’s so utterly breathtaking.

That’s what happened to me when I saw one of the ceramic vases Vanessa has become so well known for. And it wasn’t long before this talented Creative sent me one of my very own to cherish. It sits proudly on my shelf at home and is constantly filled with florals. 

Making the recipients of her vases part of the creative process is really important to Vanessa, she explains to me, when I caught up with her this week.

“I love that the vases and the planters involve the owner, that they become interactive,” she says. “Part of my process is that spirit of inclusion rather than just making and delivering. I am driven to make things that make me happy and that I would like to own myself, rather than what I think will sell”.

It’s proven to be a winning approach, because Vanessa’s vases are being snapped up by eager buyers on her Etsy store at a rapid pace, leaving her making almost 20 every week.

Vanessa Bean Shop ceramic face vases on The Life Creative Vanessa Bean Shop ceramic vases on The Life Creative

Initially hand-formed, Vanessa then slipcasts her vases, allows them to dry and then sands them, paints them and bisque fires them. Then comes the glazing, sanding again, styling them with flowers, photographing each piece, uploading them to her Etsy store for sale and notifying her followers via Instagram so that everyone has an equal chance to snap one up. I’m exhausted just thinking about it!

Vanessa discovered ceramics about six years ago when she attended a community collage course in porcelain jewellery. It wasn’t long before she got hooked on exploring and working with clay. Looking for a change from her work in graphic design, she was finally able to be her own client and create her own direction artistically.

Initially I balanced design work with ceramic exploration,” Vanessa tells me, “but just this year have decided to focus full time on ceramics. I still draw on my design background every day”.

Selling her first piece of work at a pop up store with a group of friends in 2012, Vanessa later had some of her work at Koskela in the Sydney suburb of Rosebery, and was then picked up by a couple of other stockists shortly after.

Her Instagram following, which she tells me was small at the time, kept asking her when she was going to open an Etsy store so they could purchase her work. And once that occurred, as they say, the rest is history.

Vanessa Bean Shop Ceramics on The Life Creative

Of her actual design process, Vanessa tells me that she most often applies the paint to her vases on the day, without prior thought, as the type of pattern or face she applies is often based on how she’s feeling at the time.

“That’s why I don’t take custom orders, because I want to be able to shake it up and try something new as well as repeat a few old favourites but not to be directed. That’s what keeps it exciting for me. Only today I painted rainbow polka dots on a vase which I haven’ t done before”.

After years of working with ceramics and watching her brand grow into the amazing business it is now, Vanessa tells me that it is the first thing she ever made on the potters wheel – a mug – that is the most special to her.

“It was around the time of my middle son’s 10th birthday, so I painted it for him. Somehow I got the proportions right which was a complete fluke. Six years down the track and he is almost 16, taller than me – and he still uses it every day”.   

If you’d like to explore more Vanessa’s work, click here to visit her website. And please click here to follow this uber-talented Creative on Instagram, so you can stay across her latest product releases and get loads of visual inspiration around the clock.

And if you’d like to secure your very own unique vase from this very talented lady, see the competition below and enter to win one!

Vanessa Bean Shop Ceramic face vase on The Life Creative

Win this vase from Vanessa Bean Shop!

To go in the draw to win the vase you see above from Vanessa Holle:

Drop a comment below telling me what you most love about Vanessa’s work!

This Vanessa Bean competition is open to Australian residents only.
Competition closes 11.59pm, Weds April 27

Please note: This competition has now closed. The winner is Ruth Ellet.


Outside of writing the TLC Interiors blog, Chris is an interior stylist and author. You can also catch him on your TV screens as a designer on Channel 10's Changing Rooms. If you'd like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

Comments (57)

  • Natasha Andrews

    I love whimsical decor – because it is the perfect way to express personality. Her vases are just so cute I challenge anyone to see them and not smile! And in my mind that is the perfect reason for every home to have at least one of these cuties!!

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    • It’s simple – They make me smile, like literally light up my face – SMILE 🙂

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  • Sarah Woods

    I love how each vase is its own little character, born from Vanessa’s creative hands, with a unique aura shining through. With a floral arrangement the character can change its haircut and mood as if whimsically swept up in the season. Creativity bursts out from their sweet little heads like a wonderful dream.

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  • Kirsty

    I love that every piece made by Vanessa is so unique. The colours, shapes and designs are certainly something to admire and talk about.

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  • Jourdan Parker

    What’s not to love – a chimerical approach with smile inducing hues and on trend pattern play makes for one cute to boot range of ceramic wares! Loves it !

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  • Agent 86

    Quirky and practical. Nice combination!

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  • What’s not to love they are adorable, original and just downright fabulous!

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  • I forgot to add that I’m in the process of a creative space makeover and one of these would look fab on my new shelves

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  • Ruth Ellett

    There is something universally engaging about the human face and Vanessa has managed to combine that beauty with a little piece of the natural world! The two go together so well! I would LOVE to look at one of these vases in my kitchen each morning- it would undoubtedly send us on our way each day with a smile!

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  • Kelly Millar

    Unique, quirky, whimsical. A little piece of joy for every home. #love

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  • paula

    Love the simple, yet funky look!! I could really have some fun with various plants (*hairstyles) for this vase.

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  • vee

    The vases and her other work show me her inner self of her personality of who she is, amazing to bring that out onto her work. Its a great way of expressing your self and sharing it with other people, Putting a smile on you when you see her work.

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  • Bec Abbey

    Ooh I love this vase, so pretty! What I love about Vanessas work is that each piece appears so simple yet they are impeccably detailed & so perfectly crafted. I love that each piece has its own little expression & personality & I’d be super happy to have this vase in my home x

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  • Belinda Hall

    Vanessa Holle’s whimsical ceramics bring ‘pots of personality’ to the home…love one to reside at my house where it would bring such joy and would be treasured forever.

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  • Louise

    One of a kind and hand crafted, such a perfect gift. But who am I kidding I want one for myself. The type of piece that gets handed down and people always ask ‘where did you get that?!’.

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  • jo howell

    In a world of serious design, Vanessa’s fun and playful creations are a breath of fresh air. I would love to own one of her unique and beautiful ladies.

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  • Liss Le Cornu

    Each of Vanessa’s pieces has its own character which is what makes it so very special. I was given a Miss Lemonbutter (I named her Mabel) by my mother, she sports a different hairstyle each week and I love her! I’d love to win a mini vase to pass on to my best friend

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  • Rom

    Gorgeous products, each seem to have their own personality! Love…I want a tribe of them xo

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  • Sally

    I have 2 of her vases and they take on a new personna each time you change their headdress (floral arrangement

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  • Rebekah

    In a world where hate is so relentless these happy faces shine like the sun.

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  • Erin Wolf

    My favorite pieces of art of Vanessa’s are her vases. I love them because they just make you feel happy when you look at them. They have a simple design and there is so much beauty in the simplicity of each one. I would to love to give a vase a home in our home.

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  • Rachel M

    Vanessa’s work is playful, vibrant and so so creative, from her tiny spoons to her big vases. What I love is that she allows every bunch of flowers to inspire a new hairdo with her vases. If I had one of her vases I know for sure the vase would have better hair game than me. 😉

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  • Sharyn W

    totally and utterly original and cute, really stands out for its uniqueness yet simple design, and makes my whole family go “wow” (i showed them this post and they all loved it) 🙂

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  • KJ

    Thank you for this fabulous background story. I just love these vases for their simplicity and organic elegance. They all have their own personalities and are a true original joy. A true keepsake.

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  • Priya Sangani

    I love the fact that each of them (vases) are different and tell a story- you can create your own stories using your imagination. My son 8, daughter 5 and myself (37) came up with three different stories for same vase. It leaves you with a feeling of warm and fuzzy and I imagine the different flowers would also change your mood. Love love love them!!!

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  • I love the soul that Vanessa puts into these vases, and that the owner of the vase will have the ability to give it personality by deciding what kind of flowers will make up it’s “hairdo”.

    In a way, when the vase owner simply using the vase, it becomes a collaborative art project that involves both the artist and the owner of the vase, which is a really cool and unique experience.

    Plus, these vases are just the cutest! 🙂

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  • Lauren barnes

    Unique and crafty, these gorgeous designs inspire and make people smile when given as a gift

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  • libbyb54

    I just love the smile Vanessa’s vases bring to my face when they pop up in my Instagram feed. Cute smiley vases that make me smile. Love them.

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  • Donna Carmichael

    Because they’re handmade with love and they make me so happy just looking at them!

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  • Kathy Muir

    Love these little people, the have each have a personality of their own. So cute. I was given one as a gift last Christmas, love it. Sits proudly in my kitchen so I see her every day.

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  • Erin

    I’ve been a fan of Vanessa’s work for so long and have now got my mum equally obsessed. Everything she creates- whether it’s a vase, planter, cutlery, crockery or even jewellery, has her unique and distinct touch to it. The items are always cute, quirky and have their own little personality. I would be thrilled to win this vase and may even give it to my mother for Mother’s Day. Actually- who am I kidding, I would definitely keep it myself! <3

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  • Allie Muller

    I love that each vase is unique and made with so much love by Vanessa but what I love even more is that she can look so different with all types of flowers and plants…every week you have a new, super cute little friend. And of course you just can’t help but smile when you see her…what more could you want!!

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  • Vanessa is one clever lady – she’s turned a simple vase into a work of art which is full of personality as well as being practical. I’d love one of Vanessa’s stylish vases for my home as it would bring a smile to my face seeing the fun design.

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  • Tam

    I love the originality, colour and quirkiness of Vanessa’s work.

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  • I am an avid gardener and I want the challenge of trying to make funny hair styles for the vases ( the flowers would make such funny hair – which flowers would make the funniest hair?)…

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  • I love the quirkiness, design and colour of each piece. They are warm, friendly and inviting, simply creating a smile wherever they are placed.

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  • Emma Joynes

    Vanessa’s vases bring character and happiness to the home! My children have tried to give these a go themselves and we had great fun mix and matching the ‘hair’!

    I did show them your version and they have both asked for one for their birthday! 😀 Keep up the great work Vanessa!

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  • Robyn Dakan

    Love the cheeky faces. So much personality in each one!

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  • Handshaped pottery with cutesy and real artistic appeal! It would be addictive to start a collection and take all those photos of flower “hair”. Great profile on the artist! Thanks!

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  • Alex

    They are such a beautiful mixture of whimsical practicality that put a smile on my face. A vase of Vanessa’s would be a much prized possession. What incredible talent and ingenuity 🙂

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  • Jenna

    I love their simplicity. Good design doesn’t have to be complicated or overly intricate. Truly good design makes you feel something and each of Vanessa’s handmade vases is so full of warmth and whimsy that every time I see them my heart just squishes with joy.

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  • I love that these beautifully original designs instantly make you smile and they encourage you to always have fresh flowers in the home – double happiness!

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  • Kelly Herring

    Each one is so precious and unique and has its very own personality/charm! You can tell that Vanessa really puts thought and love into each and every vase she creates and it shines through in the final product!

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  • Saskia

    I love how the beautiful ladies with their flower hair make me smile every time I see them! Always too disorganised (I blame the baby) to be online at the right time to snap one up on Etsy. Perhaps winning one is the way to go!

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  • Jenna

    I think the collective feeling amongst all of Vanessa’s fans is that once you discover her most vibrant and whimsical vases you just cannot rest until one of these cute little characters are sitting upon your table. They are wholesome, happy and give you feel good vibes! It’s not a matter of want, it’s a need 🙂 🙂 🙂

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  • Joanne Diment

    I love the element of whimsy in her work. The face on each of her vases has such character and you gotta love a vase that makes you smile.

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  • Tracey

    Vanessa’s vases are so fun and whimsical, I love how they each have their own personality and that giving them a “hair-do” adds even more character. Stylish and practical.

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  • Alannah Jensen

    It’s hard to pick one thing that I love most about vbeans work. I’d have to say it’s the little faces on all the work she does, especially the vases. There is something truly magical about them

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  • Kate Temple-Smith

    I did ceramics at Uni so I know how hard it is to give animation & humour to the medium. These vases are stunning. Just the right amount of form versus function & finally i have a vase i can talk to without seeming crazy (maybe)!!!

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  • Priscilla Reimann

    I love the endless search for the most beautiful bouquet of hair.

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  • Philippa Inglis

    I love the sweet quality to her work, each piece is unique and has its own life

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  • Brenda Masters

    I love how Vanessa’s work always make me feel happy. I love the thought of creating seasonal hair styles for a dotty vase friend.

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  • Nadia

    They are just so darn cute, and I love that you can keep creating new and unique looks simply by changing the ‘hair’.

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  • I’m following Vanessa now because of your blog post. I love these vases because they can be filled with beauty – just like us all. They are definitely on my bucket list to purchase. 🙂

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  • Rebecca Mann

    I adore the pop of colour, her uniquely creative approach, but most importantly, I love the innocence that Vanessa encapsulates so well in her art.

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  • Cath

    Vanessa’s work is such an inspiration to other small scale makers. Love her whimsical pieces!

    reply

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