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We partnered with local artisan, Messy By Mahlia to launch a unique collection of mugs, incense bars and candle holders. Available exclusively in our Byron Bay flagship in limited numbers, we are thrilled to welcome this addition to our range of accessories in store. No two pieces are the same - each object is handmade and painted with love in Mahlia's Byron studio.

Mahlia Senaratne takes us on a tour of her home studio to talk about her inspiration and practise. 

Mahlia wears the Signature Bracup Top and Boy Short in Mango and Seaside Shirt

We love your conscious and hands-on approach to ceramics, when did you launch Messy By Mahlia? 

Thank you! I’ve been making ceramics for a few years now off and on but only started selling them to friends and family last year in December. It wasn’t until June this year when I officially launched my website along with my first collection, I’d say that’s when Messy went from being just a hobby to a business.

Who inspires you? And where do you gain creative inspiration for your designs? 

My Grandparents are a big inspiration to me, they are both ceramicists. They taught me the basics of the art when I was young. I am always inspired by their beautiful work. I know it’s a cliché answer, but I honestly take inspiration from everyday life. I’m always imagining different shapes, colours and patterns that I can potentially turn into pieces or future collections.

Can you shed some light on your design process for our Messy By Mahlia x ZZ coffee cups and your other ceramic pieces? 

I was so excited when Candice and Karla approached me to do this collaboration with Zulu & Zephyr. We took some designs from my first collection ‘Crayon’ and paired it with some of the staple Zulu & Zephyr colourways. 

How long does the creative process for the mugs take? 

Making these mugs is actually quite an extensive process. I have to make the mug, let it completely dry, which can take up to a week or longer, paint the design on it and then go in with a last layer of glaze. Once it’s cooked in the kiln, she’s ready for your morning coffee!

Mahlia wears the Siesta Knit Top and Short, coming mid-October. 

What are your goals for the next 12 months, or any opportunities in the pipeline?

I have so many goals and ideas for Messy. My main goal is to just keep growing, learning and creating. I’d also love to do some collaborations with different artists. I have some exiting collections coming out in the near future along with a few fun creative projects.

What are your favourite pieces from the latest Zulu & Zephyr collection? 

My favourite pieces from the new ZZ range are the Adventure Straight Leg Jean, they are such a nice length. I also love the Signature Bracup Top and Boy Short in Mango - they are a perfect style for surfing, being active and even painting in the studio!

Shop our unique coffee cups in our Byron Bay flagship at 10A/11 Banksia Drive, Byron Bay NSW. 

Discover more from Messy By Mahlia here.
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