With lineage deriving from Chile and Spain, the women of the Sydney-based family Samantha, Cynthia and Cecilia, developed their distinctive line of ceramics and launched Oditi Designs in 2018. Previously C&S or CeciandSammy from 2016.
Creating homewares such as geometric mugs in pastel tones, vases embellished with golden touches and indigo ink-splattered planters Oditi Designs are immediately recognisable. The influence of the Mapuche women of Chile is most evident in their striking ceramic dolls, highlighted with intricately hand-painted sculptures from art icons to pop culture heroes.
From the left: Cynthia, Samantha & Cecilia
The ladies of Oditi extend their craftsmanship to the creation of their characteristic statement earrings featuring bold colours with signature embellishments.
Practicing art in Chile was traditionally something only the wealthy classes could entertain. Cecilia’s avid interest in art was therefore discouraged by her mother as it “doesn’t put food on the table”. Having moved to Sydney, Australia at the age of 12, after a major operation on her hip and several educational endeavours at TAFE, Cecilia eventually took the plunge and studied art at university.
With the foundations of formal training in Visual and Fine Arts at The University of Sydney, Cecilia co-founded the family business Oditi Designs with her sister Cynthia and her daughter Samantha.
Growing up with a mum that provides rich experiences like visits to galleries and museums, Samantha was naturally drawn to the art world herself. It was, after all, when throwing on the potter’s wheel that Cecilia realised she was pregnant with Samantha.
While Cecilia enjoyed oil-painting Samantha preferred using Atelier acrylics. Sam didn’t want kids paint, she wanted to paint with high-quality materials just like Mum. Fast forward and Samantha can add business maven to her list of talents; with a Creative Arts degree already under her belt while she studies her Masters in Business.
Oditi Designs is the production of a tight-knit family influenced by the indigenous concepts of the Mapuche women of South Chile with a touch of the Bauhaus philosophy of creating functional art.
The Mapuche women of Chile were the traditional crafters of ceramic objects for the home. Making vessels which mimic the female form and given as gifts, they celebrate rites of passage for women through the stages of her life.
The creation of ceramics requires patience and persistence, qualities that serve you well when building a business from the ground up. Cecilia and Sam continuously learn from one another and their unique experiences feed into Oditi Designs. Sam is the business and social media manager and Cecilia primarily the maker, however both contribute to the design of their products.
The process of developing new products and learning new techniques continues today, where Cecilia and Samantha operate Oditi Designs from their home studio in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia.
- 2015 Australian Postgraduate Award, University of Sydney
- Runner up, 3D Sculpture Verge Awards 2014, Verge Gallery
- 2013 The University of Sydney, Dean's List for Academic Excellence
- Winner 3D Sculpture Verge Awards 2012, Verge Gallery
- Highly Commended 37th Camden Art Prize
- 2012 Winner. Utility: Our House. Gallery 1, Sydney College of the Arts
- 2011 The University of Sydney Academic Merit Prize [P1278]
- People’s choice award. Palms Awards 2011, Verge Gallery
Stall Design - Handmade Canberra
Oditi Designs inaugural participation at the Handmade Canberra designer market led to Gerardo, Cecilia’s husband, making custom panels for the stall, hand-painted by Cecilia.
Oditi won Best in Show and received hundreds of compliments.
Scholarships - Cecilia Castro
- 2014 Fauvette Loureiro Memorial Artists Exchange Scholarship
- 2012 Fauvette Loureiro Memorial Artists Exchange Scholarship
- The University of Sydney International Office Exchange Scholarship
- Jerome De Costa Memorial Scholarship
- 2015 Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
- 2013 Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
- Bachelor of Visual Arts 2011-2014
- Master in Fine Arts 2015-2018
- Both degrees from Sydney College of the Arts (SCA), The University of Sydney
- Bachelor of Visual Arts Honours (First Class Honours)
- Cecilia started at SCA in 2011 majoring in Ceramics (Now known as Sculpture at SCA).
- Cecilia’s main material in all her sculptures is Ceramics
- Bachelor of Creative Arts
- Currently Master in Business, majoring in Marketing
- Both degrees are from Wollongong University