Miles and Finn from Happs Pottery

Whether they’ve been here for four years or 40, Margaret River Region artists share a passion for the beauty of the place they call home. Some were born to create, but for others, it was a happy accident.

A surfing injury 25 years ago led Russell Ord to pick up a camera and photograph his mates in the surf. While the ocean will always be Russell’s photographic passion, he also loves capturing people’s stories. His new gallery at Edwards Wines provides exhibition space which he invites local artists to share.

“The collaborations have been inspiring,” Russell said. “These alliances have broadened the gallery’s horizons and deepened our appreciation for the myriad ways art can be experienced and interpreted,” Russell said.

Russell Ord
Russell Ord's gallery is located at Edwards Wines, Cowaramup. Photo: Supplied

For John Miller, a chance meeting at the age of 18 steered him to a 50-year jewellery-making career.

“I wasn’t long out of art school and enjoying a middy at Steve’s Hotel in Nedlands, Perth, when a guy asked if I wanted a job buffing jewellery in his shop. It was $30 a week pay. I walked in, saw the tools and thought ‘this is for me.’”

What follows is a rich history of design and innovation across the jewellery spectrum. John Miller Design now employs 16 people across two busy retail outlets and two unique workshops. The iconic and distinctive work is sought and collected by both national and global clientele.

John’s iconic gold and silver jewellery is immediately identifiable for its intricately etched and stamped designs. His work captures the essence of Australia and the Margaret River Region, from blue wrens to the beach.

John Miller
John Miller recently celebrated a 50-year jewellery-making career. Photo: Russell Ord

While much has changed around John Streater over 40 years, the furniture makers’ work has remained steadfast. Thanks to him winning one of only four tenders to feature jarrah for his furniture-making, John has enough to last his lifetime.

“I would love to be around in 100 years to see my furniture in place. I try to make pieces that stand the test of time, the same longevity as the tree would have been in the ground,” he said.

For Myles Happ, pottery is a family tradition. He absorbed the craft at his parents’ knees, earned pocket money pot making in summer holidays, and finally opened his own pottery, gallery and retail space. Myles creates hand-built and wheel-thrown dinnerware, tableware, and sculptural pieces.

He’s recently developed a new range of glazes, capturing the colour of Happs Pottery’s surrounds – ocean scapes, farming, forests, birdlife and natural stone. Happs offers a ‘Studio Pottery Experience’ to those wanting to explore their creative potential with clay. Take the potter’s wheel for a spin and learn the basics of making bowls, cups and plates.

Happs Pottery and Icon Honey - Finn and Myles Happs
Finn and Myles Happ at Happs Pottery, Anniebrook. Photo: Supplied

After falling in love with the Margaret River Region during a road trip across Australia, Emma, an award-winning artist, along with her husband Matthew and their three children, decided to establish their roots in Yallingup.

Yallingup Galleries, a business lovingly run and developed by Rob and Robin Malcolm for over three decades, presented an ideal opportunity for the family to immerse in the region’s natural beauty and vibrant art community. The gallery effortlessly weaves nature and wildlife themes from its artworks to its beautifully crafted sculpture trail, and with the addition of a pop-up cellar door open for events, you can happily spend your whole afternoon here.

Also don't miss...

  • REDSEA Gallery – an exciting new gallery in a coveted space. Owners Chris and Charlie Churcher have expanded REDSEA from Singapore to Margaret River, which they now call home after holidaying here for many years. Check out the stunning new interiors and local and global art in the old JahRoc on Bussell Highway.
  • Yallingup Aboriginal Art – specialises in fine contemporary Aboriginal art. You will find a range of art pieces from award-winning artists as well as limited edition prints, books, earrings, towels, didgeridoos and more.
  • Margaret River Sculpture Park – giant sculptures carved from recycled wood, stone and more, formed amidst a landscape of coastal heath that changes continually with the colors of each season.
  • Margaret River Candle Company – handmade candles lovingly hand-poured on-site. Browse their large collection of candles, gifts, artwork and timber products at the unique gallery and workshop.
  • The Studio Gallery – enjoy the light-filled gallery and stay for lunch.

For further artistic adventure visit the 16-day Margaret River Region Open Studios in September when more than 150 artists throw open their doors to invite art lovers into their private worlds.

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