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INTERVIEW: UniSA Mag w/ Tijana Birdjan

Updated: Jun 19, 2019

I loved my day with Tijana. She has such a sweet personality but the kind of subtle fierceness that inspired me! We picked up some earrings (yes, I made her run errands with me), made some titty pots & spoke about what Dots Pots is all about.

Jessica Mason, informally known as the tit queen of Adelaide, creates pottery presenting décolletage to raise awareness for the female body. Her bubbly personality brings people together as she advocates self-love, empowerment and sisterhood by selling her pottery at local markets across Adelaide such as Gilles at the Grounds. From every pot sold, Jessica donates $5 to charities that help women in need, including Catherine House. She has also presented a vulnerable side of her on her Instagram (@doesmynippleoffendyou) by sharing her experience with rape and sexual assault. She struggled with self-love and finding acceptance within herself until she found help. By sharing her trauma, Jessica advocates that help is needed in situations and by having an honest conversation, help is received.

The passion for positive body image and self-love was also a vital aspect to creating the pottery.

I asked her various questions to share her stance on the female movement and what both women and men can do to strengthen the community.

How and when did you start?

“My best friends’ birthday was coming up and she sent me a photo of a tit pot from overseas as a joke, and I decided to try and make it for her. I took myself down to Bunnings, which is my favourite place in the entire world, everyone just wants to help you with whatever you’re doing. I got some airdry clay, I didn’t google anything, in my mind I thought I could just work out what I was going to do”

“I started telling my boyfriend and mum who was over for one night and I said that I reckon people would love these, like I think I should definitely start making them; they both laughed at me.”

“Then Nana came over, who’s Nana Dot, she said these were amazing, I was like “thank you Nana”, she said “get the internets up, Daniel get the internets up we’re buying a bulk clay.” That’s why the movement is called “Dot’s Pot’s”, it was named after my Nana.”

“I started October 2018, I somehow fit a year’s worth of project start up in the space of two months before Christmas, and I just started doing Gilles street markets who are run by amazing, supportive people, Jenn and Maddi. They just wanted me to come along and get involved with an event they had on; the whole idea of workshops came from them. That’s such a big part of what I do, I don’t think I would’ve been so involved if it wasn’t me involving myself with women who come to the project.”

Does anyone help you?

“When I first started my boyfriend (Daniel) was basically an unpaid, badly treated intern. He would come home from work and make me dinner, he still does this to this day, so our routine is, he comes home, makes me dinner and I sit right at the table and do my pots. He sits on the couch and we’ve now somehow managed to do this as a living environment, but in the initial stages, it was a lot of stress and a lot of pressure, and he basically had to take half of that. He would sit up with me at night making pots, then he would come out at 2am and make sure I was going to bed, so he just completely helped me together through the entire thing. My best friend Tamika was the reason I started doing markets, before a market having to stock up with 40 pots is a pretty big thing when you work full-time, so she’d come over and paint all these pots with me. All my best friends have in somehow contributed. Nana also, the number one, she comes to every market.”

Why is the movement called “doesmynippleoffendyou”?

“I think it’s hilarious that those useless nipples on men’s torsos don’t offend anyone, but my beautiful, worthwhile, life-giving nipples can. I just think the whole idea of them being offensive is a load of shit, so I like to always ask the question and make people think about it.”

How much money have you raised for the community and which organisations have you donated to?

“Around about $1000 at the moment, which doesn’t feel like much, but when I thought about it this morning, it means that over 200 women have purchased a pot”. Jessica has raised money for the Catherine House, Aboriginal Sobriety Group and the Australian Refugee Association.

What are your plans for the future?

“It’s much more for the community, than a business minded thing. I’ve always said that it’s about the body positivity, the message of self-love and sisterhood, so as long as I stick to those values it can become anything.”

Have you had any criticisms about your art?

“Yeah, no one tells me they don’t like the pots, but largely from Facebook and Instagram. They banned me from promoting anything on my page, which is how lots of people get their products out there, especially in local businesses. They took me off the discover page. They have a specific guideline which bans any female nipples being portrayed or anything that depicts nudity in female form. Then I decided to Photoshop a male nipple on my breast and they took it down. I told them that it was a male nipple, so they apologised and put it back up on my page.

Every pot is unique as they come in different shapes, sizes and colours. Jessica wanted her project to be inclusive as she also represents pregnant women and the transgender community. Inspiration is partly drawn from her idols and that transpires into her product. She also holds workshops in her own time and place to celebrate women such as, International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day. By sharing her story about rape and sexual assault, Jessica has built a relationship with her clients in which they could be connected. She advises that help is a necessity of healing and she is open to everyone, whether they have purchased a pot or not.

Tijana & the Tit Queen making/talking tit pots

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