IIona Topolscanyi

Diploma of Arts (Ceramics) (2009)


Ilona’s story needs its own mini-series. Like an idea that needs to find its true medium, Ilona wandered through a myriad of differing career paths – from dental nursing to massage to acupuncture to a travel agent and more – before a humble pottery class opened the door to her true calling. Eight years later, Ilona has shaped a bright future, having built an impressive array of experience, including two years’ artist residency in Hungary, publication in an international journal, and exhibitions in Germany and back home from metro to regional Victoria.

Ilona completed her Diploma of Art, Ceramics, at Box Hill Institute in 2008, and during her time studying, became noted for more than her ceramic artistry. It was her willingness to be involved in student exhibitions, above and beyond her own contributions, that impressed teachers, as well as her energy, drive and marketing nous – very useful talents when contemplating a future in small business. It was no surprise when Ilona won the 2009 Box Hill Institute Outstanding Vocational Student of the Year award. By this stage she had set up Cone 11 – a ceramic studio cooperative, and is currently running a ceramics and design studio in the atmospheric locale of the Mercator Building in the Abbotsford convent in Melbourne.

Ilona continues, through her artistry and determination, to be a proselytizing force for her craft. A happy ending certainly, but more exciting chapters to Ilona’s story are yet to come.