interest in pottery was sparked four years ago during a trip to Spain, where he
encountered a local ceramic artist making pottery pieces from a shed down an
alley. Intrigued by what he saw overseas, upon his return Connelly took up
pottery classes in Henley Beach and hasn’t looked back since.
“I wanted to
do pottery and I was doing a lot of it, practicing a lot and I very quickly
wanted to change the hobby into a job because I had so many ideas,” Connery
says. “I like creating, I like thinking about something that would be useful
for a lot of people. I basically fell into it really, started doing markets and
the demand happened so fast that I had to stop everything else.”
In 2017, Connery and co-founder Sophia Goldschmidt established Es Ceramics – named for the Spanish word for “it is” – from his Middleton lounge room. With only a throwing wheel at their disposal, Connery would make a series of lengthy back-and-forth trips between this home set up and the pottery school in Henley Beach to use its facilities to bisque and glaze-fire the keep cups in batches.
“We started selling to cafés basically straight away, Pipi in Middleton was our first café,” Connery says. “Maxwell’s in Aldinga was the next one and then from there we created an Instagram account and cafes started messaging us and that’s where it all sort of started.”
As demand for the cups grew, the pair launched a Kickstarter campaign in August last year where he successfully raised over $29,000 from local, interstate and international backers to fund a new studio in Thebarton. Now running the business on his own, Connery moved into the new space in September with additional equipment to ramp up production.
“The aim was so the pottery studio was all in one place,” Connery says. “This space is perfect for what I want and I really like the idea of being in Thebarton, this area seems to be my place, I love that it’s a bit grungy.”