Kiya Nancarrow is a ceramic artist based on Waiheke Island in Hauraki Gulf near Auckland. She studied ceramics at the University of Westminster in London and has exhibited extensively in the UK and New Zealand.
She is interested in creating a sense of movement or continuous change, particularly on a visceral or sensual level. Her work is usually made up of two interlocking ceramic forms that create a dynamic energy which enhances the sense of movement, or harmony.
Some forms depict the contrast between different energies, while others are about synchronicity and closeness. Underlying the different forms is the belief that energetically everything is connected in a continuum of movement. This language of movement is also influenced by current ideas and happenings in her life, (often suggestive in the names).
The ceramic forms are made using a combination of throwing and hand-building. Nancarrow use stoneware clays, which are fired to 1100 degrees (indoor pieces) or 1260 degrees (outdoor pieces). The surface is sealed with Terra Sigillata or Under- glaze.
Peter’s knowledge of glaze and firing techniques merge to create a bounty of forms and tactile finishes that inspire respect, and beg to be touched.
Some pieces, like his Waka, are almost frightening with their intense colors and seemingly fragile edges. Other pieces, like his vases, are models of simplicity and elegance.
Peter has been fully focused on the art and design of ceramics since 1978 collections in New Zealand and overseas, including Auckland, Singapore,
His work has been presented as gifts by the New Zealand Government to Nelson Mandela, 1998; to Taiwan Mayors and Ambassadors of Korea and Taiwan by the North Shore City as well as to the Mayor of Columbia 1990 and the Admiral of Singapore, 2002.
Peter has won numerous awards and has judged over 20 ceramic competitions. Peter has exhibited all over the world with more than 50 solo exhibitions since 1978 in New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and Dubai, the US and British Columbia.
As an only child my early resourceful passions were for chemistry sets, puppetry, homemade museums and conjuring tricks.
My forms and aesthetic, of the stark and the industrial, have always put me out of step with the craft based organicly oriented mainstream of NZ pottery.
I owe more to the philosophy of the European design movements of de Stijl and the Bauhaus, than to the NZ preoccupation with Anglo Orientalism, the East and Zen.
I subscribe to the idea of the Renaissance Man. I wrote Film Reviews, and contributed regularly to the late N Z Potter Magazine, of which I was on the editorial committee. Along with my ceramics, I maintain the parallel career as a designer of Theatre Sets and Costumes. I like my own exhibitions to always contain surprises. They are always staged, with the pieces presented as much for the dramatic effect as for the objects themselves.
When working in clay, I see myself following in the traditions of being just a craft potter. Each piece is hand-made and unique. I throw and turn all my work on the potter’s wheel. I make ware which is easily recognisable as the classical pottery vessel, bottle or bowl, but my special concern is to push the concepts of these as far as possible into severe minimalism and into the functional/non-functional debate to explore the very essence of defining these ideas.
For me, my life is a successful marriage of all my interests. I make no distinction between them, even if trying to define what I actually do for a job bothers other people. I see no difference between my two practices. They both are concerned with 3D objects in space. The only difference is that my ceramic work is a solo activity and my theatre work involves total collaboration. But whether working on a monthly magazine copy, designing a theatre piece or an exhibition of ceramics, there are the same pressures and unalterable deadlines. The same themes flow through your work and the same processes of stylisation, fine-tuning and attention to detail apply.
The adrenaline rushes on publication dates, at exhibition openings and on first nights in the theatre are just the same.”
“For as long as I can remember, I painted and created art, not only is it an important part of my life but is truly who I am, all my creations are a part of me.” Rachel Murphy was born in Christchurch but moved when she was a child to Holland with her family for a couple of years, arriving back in NZ to Auckland, Rachel grew up in the idyllic Titirangi - Waitakere Ranges of Auckland. As a young adult Rachel lived for a time in Sydney, Australia and then Scotland, she still feels a strong connection to the land, architecture and people of Scotland. Mostly self taught, Rachel works predominantly in porcelain slip casting, using plaster moulds and slip (essentially a watery clay). Whilst studying a Bachelor of Design, she learned the basic technique of Slip casting from Jo Nuttall - Glass casting Artist in Auckland. Much of Rachel’s skills have been developed over time, through successes and failures and in the case of Gilding, many years of practice. After 15 years Designing furniture and interiors, with the creation of art as a hobby, it was not until 2012 that Rachel decided to concentrate on ceramics and then in 2014 become a full time artist. Her work is therefore influenced by her design background, with an emphasis on form and texture. Rachel considers herself a student of nature and is constantly in awe of the subtleties and extremes of land, sea and air. Her creative process often begins with observations on a walk in the bush or on rugged west coast beaches.
Dreaming of our Land
“My work is about shapes and forms and I like to keep it all as simple as I possibly can. Less is more. I have always enjoyed working with textured panels of clay and combining this with structural strength of curves bends circles. I am inspired by the architectural concepts of support, span and connection. I studied ceramics in the Art Department at Otago Polytechnic 1975-76. He was a founding member and worked at The Moray Place Studio in Central Dunedin. I moved to Invercargill where he tutored in the Art and Community Studies Dept at Southland Community College and exhibited at numerous local exhibitions. In 2006 I joined Auckland Studio Potters and reconnected with the Ceramic community. John Parker is responsible for this. In 2013 I was selected to exhibit in the Portage Art awards and in 2014 received a Portage Art Awards merit award. In 2015 I was awarded the Auckland Studio Potters Art Residency sponsored by the James Wallace Art Trust.” Frank has worked in Theatre as a set builder for a number of years and has been part of the N Z Opera team over the past 4 years.
Wellington based ceramist, Katherine Smyth worked as a chef for 8 years before embarking on a 3-year ceramics diploma in 1989 at the National Art School in Sydney, Australia.
From 1992 until 1998 she was mostly based in London (both potting and cooking). She designed crockery for a number of prominent eating establishments in London including The Sugar Club and The Union Cafe.
In1998, Katherine returned to New Zealand where she has worked as full time potter ever since.
Her work is held in a number of major public and private collections including:Auckland Museum, Te Papa Museum, Dowse Art Museum and the Wallace Arts Trust, New Zealand.Wellington based ceramist, Katherine Smyth worked as a chef for 8 years before embarking on a 3-year ceramics diploma in 1989 at the National Art School in Sydney, Australia.
View Katherine's current pieces available.
My life as a professional potter began some fifteen years ago after being a furniture designer/manufacturer. My design aesthetic is that of a modernist and this is evident in my work. I use mostly stoneware clay and bright earthenware glazes.
Currently, I have been making pieces that are much ‘looser’ and have been firing them either in a pit or raku kiln. Raku and pit firing have great appeal because of the spontaneity of the techniques. The raku work is withdrawn from the kiln at 1000° and placed in a container full of combustible material. The contents ignite and are immediately sealed until the fire has exhausted the oxygen and the flames are extinguished. Carbon is thereby produced and penetrates the unglazed clay leaving a silky surface. After scrubbing the final unique effect is revealed.
Equally random results are achieved during the pit firing process where pots are subjected to intense heat in a ‘bonfire’ of wood, natural substances (eg. seaweed) and chemicals (eg. copper sulphate). Unlike raku, pit firing requires the pots to cool naturally although the final distinctive result is only visible after careful cleaning.
These latest pieces are a departure from my previous ceramics and, as such, provide a break from the more controlled requirements of my larger works.
Kim was born in Golden Bay and grew up in the small seaside settlement of Parapara. The estuary, sea and river evoke fond memories and the abundant wildlife it attracted. My father (John Stark) was a potter at the time and life often revolved around the pottery work shed, a place where she enjoyed making and creating with clay.
After graduating from design school at the Christchurch Polytechnic in 1991 a career in graphic design, structural carton design and sign writing followed. She now lives in West Melton, Canterbury.
After attending pottery classes through the Canterbury Potters’ Association she set up a pottery studio at home in 2009. The hay barn was converted for a workspace and the old horse stables have become a studio gallery. Apart from ceramics Kim also paints with acrylic, mixed media and encaustics (melted beeswax).
"Spontaneity is an important element with my surface design. The use of coloured slip as a decorative medium offers me much flexibility. It can be brushed, slipped trailed or used with stencils. Rather than decorate directly onto the assembled vessel I enjoy the freedom to create imagery on the flat slab, as you would a watercolour or illustration. My preferred technique is print transfer on fabric."
Merilyn Wiseman is a well established ceramicist who has exhibited and lectured widely throughout New Zealand.
Following a Preliminary Diploma at Elam School of Art in 1959 Merilyn continued her studies at Goldsmiths School of Art, University of London, and graduated in 1963 witha National Diploma of Design, and in 1964 with an Art Specialist Teachers Diploma. Holiday work in a country pottery in Ireland prompted her to return to New Zealand where she has been a full-time professional potter since 1976.
Wiseman is the recipient of major awards including the 1984 Premier Award in the Fletcher Challenge Pottery Award, The 1992 and 2001 Premier Awards in the Royal Easter Show Pottery Awards, the 2005 Premier Award in the Portage Ceramic Award, and the 2007 Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate Award.
Wiseman is a three times recipient of a QE11 Arts Council Creative Development Grant. In 2002 her work ‘Pacific Rim’ was featured on a special edition of stamps issued by New Zealand Post and Sweden Post called “Art Meets Craft”.
Her work can be found in important public collections throughout New Zealand and internationally including the Auckland War Memorial Museum, Waikato Museum, Hawkes Bay Museum, Dowse Art Museum, Christchurch Art Gallery. Otago Museum, The Department of Foreign Affairs, theTaipei Fine Art Museum, and Te Papa.
Morgan Haines work is influenced by motifs and patterns of an iconic and historic nature.
Living, travelling, and working as a chef in New Zealand and abroad, Morgan has developed an interest in the relevance of the old and the decadent. She combines this passion with her culinary knowledge, to create a range of slip cast domestic ware.
Delicate pastel colours combined with religious iconography and 1940’s wallpaper give her work gorgeous texture and a sense of humour.
Vibrant, quirky, petite. Julie’s sense of style marries classic forms of function (ish) with quirkiness and charm. It connects the old with the new and tackles topics that bring little smiles to our hearts.
Julie was trained in Jewellery and Textile Design, and you find reference to this in the form of surface design she applies to a lot of her work, such as the collection
“Memories of a Grandmother”.
Of late she has worked in media such as metal and glass, and has also started to use form as decoration, minimizing the surface design.
“I don’t think it really matters what I’m making or what material I’m using, it is the idea and the intention that is important. If I can make something that gives the user or view pleasure or pause for thought, then I am happy.”
Anne learnt her craft as an expatriate of New Zealand while living in Dubai, going on to teach at the Dubai International Art Centre. On here return to New Zealand, Anne furthered her practice by studying towards a Diploma in Ceramics which developed her skill level while learning from many experienced potters. On another overseas adventure, this time to Sydney, Anne studied at the National Art School where she undertook a Masters in Fine Arts. This study confirmed for Anne that ceramics is a mode of expression worthy of a place in the art world and developed an interest in the value of the vessel as a metaphor or vehicle for meaning. Anne liked to consider the vessel and how it sits with linguistic concepts and philosophical theory, at the same time as enjoying the tacit enjoyment of working with clay.
One of Anne’s favourite references is from Rose Slivka who states that the object is the poet. Anne firmly believes that a good object can sing, speak or give rise to the narrative, ideas and concepts. The vessel is an abstract form in that it is a skin for nothing with a limitless potential to express meaning. Vessels are an integral part of our existence from the womb, breast, cup to coffin and as such need our respect and reverence.
Of her technique Anne says: ‘My blue vessels are slip cast porcelain. I pour porcelain slip, liquid clay into a mould and let it soak in irregularly. This is then trimmed and dried. Then bisque fired to 900 celsius. This ware is then painted expressively with copper oxide and glazed over this the glaze and copper combine to create the blues and greens. This is fired to 1170 to 1200 Celsius. I then freely paint a gold lustre on the glaze. The lustre is pure gold about 22 carat or more in a medium. The medium fires away leaving the gold on the glaze. The gold is fired to 700 Celsius. Each stage of the process involves attrition, successes and failures.’
Based in Port Waikato, Robin graduated from AUT in 2005 with a Bachelor of Visual Arts, majoring in painting. Since then, Robin has been the recipient of many awards, including finalist in the highly acclaimed Portage Awards in 2009 and 2010, but also for her painting. Robin also was invited to participate in a cultural exchange as one of 3 artists from New Zealand, taking her to the NongYuan International Arts Village in Chengdu, the biggest contemporary arts centre in western China.
We love Robin's work, and the expression she is able to convey in her raw, emotional sculpting and painting. Her coloured clay is a new dimension for Robin, allowing the sculptures to be sold as a triptych or individually.
Welcome, Robin Ranga!
Child, Slave & Knowledge
Someone said to me that artists often carry a group of themes within them for a lifetime and certainly, for me, I see themes in what I make recurring in a variety of forms.
I have used both animals and humans to embody the human condition. Hares have been a central motif in my practice because my maiden name was Coney which means rabbit. I use them as an alter ego or reference to my family. They are 'everyman' figures and they are all invested, in some way, with a sense of our mortality and a preoccupation with our inner life and the subconscious.
As a figurative ceramic sculptor I hand build using both coil and slab techniques and construct in a modular way. The formation of identity, particularly during childhood, continues to be my focus.
The motivation in my making is to capture and encapsulate those small haemorrhages of the self, the dualities we encounter, which chart our emotional progress through life. I completed a Master of Design at Unitec in 2012.