A Melbourne based potter, Ilona Topolscanyi initially completed a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Chinese Medicine) at Victoria University (2000) before embarking on ceramics-based studies at Box Hill Institute of TAFE completing a Diploma of Arts, Ceramics (2008). She is currently doing a Graduate Diploma of Fine Art at Federation University.
Attracted to the utilitarian, tactile nature of the craft, pottery has offered Ilona the chance to infuse a desire for functionality with her passion for creative expression. She has become a specialised maker of bespoke tableware for some of Australia’s most notable chefs.
Each range that ultimately appears on the restaurant table is the result of a direct collaboration in which the food and the personality of the chef influences the ceramic forms and surfaces developed. For Ilona, the food is the picture, the plate is the frame. With each new commission, consideration is given to what makes a menu unique and how she can celebrate and enhance this through ceramics and optimise both the function and beauty of finished pieces.
Her latest venture is a collaboration with the iconic Bendigo Pottery where she has developed ‘The Good Plate’ range that also contributes to training refugees in the hospitality industry.