Featured Artisans | Pottery Month in Parnell November 2020

Michelle Bow Ceramic Vessel  Michelle Bow

Born in New Zealand of mixed heritage, Michelle’s love of clay began over 30 years ago at university. Michelle spent 15 years as an art director and designer in the media industry before becoming a full-time ceramic artist in 2001.

A graduate of the Otago Diploma of Ceramics, Michelle loves to throw contemporary vessels, as well as to hand make wall art and sculptural pieces exploring the icons and patterns of New Zealand and the pacific region.

Michelle has received several awards for her ceramics and has exhibited in galleries and exhibitions throughout New Zealand.

Touchstone Ceramic Coffee Mug  Touchstones

We create functional and decorative pieces from clay and stone that evoke the spirit of the places in New Zealand that we travel to and experience.

Our collections are made slowly nurturing mindfulness in the process of their creation, and are designed to encourage a sense of grounding in their use.

The pieces are designed to be tactile, imperfect and evocative, often with honed surfaces created for touch.

They try to capture the essence of the material that is used, its natural grains, flaws, texture, strength.

Touchstones is a collection of work by Scott Donnell and Lisa Day.

Jinho Jeong Ceramic Vase  Jinho Jeong

Jinho Jeong is an Auckland-based ceramicist. Jinho was born in Seoul and trained in ceramics at Kyunggi University in South Korea. He then spent a year at the highly prestigious Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute in China, the only dedicated university to ceramic arts in China. Now, Jinho works from his studio experimenting with scale and glaze to create a unique body of work.

Muddy Fingers Platter  Muddy Fingers

Tom Somerville works from Helensville north of Auckland.When I took up pottery in 2016 I was taken with the idea that anyone could take up a bit of mud, fashion it into something, cook it and hey presto there you have it. pottery & sculpture. The fun thing is what to do with that mud . I realised I wanted to make stuff that people would cherish. that would add a bit of art into their lives and so Muddy Fingers was born. My inspiration comes from my life experience. As a young man I spent may hours swimming among coral reefs in Tonga. I met my wife there in Tonga. Jointly we share a passion for gardening and family. I have decided that all the lines, shapes and designs we love are all to be found in that diverse incredible realm we call nature. My work simply tries to capture some of this and repackage for your enjoyment.

Suzy Dunser Pottery Suzy Dunser

My practice ranges from functional domestic ware to more conceptual pieces based on vessel forms, finding new ways of looking at vernacular objects. I have done series of work based on oilcan forms, railway lanterns, and most recently tin cans, as well as one relating to the suffrage movement in New Zealand, prompted by the exhibition Parlour Games at the Wallace Arts Centre in 2016.

Knowing that the pieces I produce resonate with people and evoke memories or prompt reflection is gratifying. I also just love the process of making. My practice is wheel-based, with some pieces altered and assembled, occasionally with handbuilt components. I work with a range of clays and firing methods, including terracotta, midfire, and saltglazed stoneware and porcelain. My work has been recognised as a finalist several times in the Portage Ceramic Awards, and with awards in various other exhibitions in New Zealand.

 My background is in design, and I worked as an architectural lighting designer for a number of years before turning to focus more seriously on clay. I completed the Otago Polytechnic Diploma in Ceramic Arts in 2011. I served as President of the Auckland Studio Potters from 2013-2017, and continue to work there as a tutor. I live and work in west Auckland.

Teresa Watson Ceramics Teresa Watson

Teresa Watson is a professional potter and tutor. As a teacher and a clay worker it seems only natural to combine her two loves, teaching and pottery. 

Teresa is an award winning ceramic artist‚ who has been teaching ceramics in the community for over 20 years. Her vision is to share the passion and love of clay with like minded people‚ and to inspire students in clay making through the classes that are held there.

The ceramic college is the only facility‚ here on the North Shore, that is set up purely for ceramics. It is housed in the former beautiful Saint Michael’s Anglican church‚ still with its original furniture‚ and church bell.

Wilma Jennings Pottery Tui  Wilma Jennings

I've always created, whether it was from the mud resulting from the seasonal rains on my childhood island of Curacao, the sands on beaches, fabrics handed down to me or simply paint and paper. 

As clay is my dominant medium, I feel my creative space sits constantly at a crossroads between functional form, home decoration and art. As an artist I'm drawn in all these directions. All my pieces are passionately designed, whether created for the joy of using a practical item, or uplifting because it's beautiful to look at. My ethos is this: we're drawn to colours and shapes that make our hearts sing.

Art and design in all forms has the power to 'wash off the daily dust of everyday life' as Picasso once said. 

My passion is from the Caribbean, and New Zealand. The colours, architecture and spirit of my birth island still influences my work, along with beautiful flora and fauna of my home country New Zealand. 

Having started my pottery life under the influence and teaching of well known potters such as Yvonne Rust and Len Castle, and lesser known Margaret Radford, I've always been mindful of quality, ensuring form, materials and finishes are fit for design and purpose. 

Marilyn Wheeler Ceramics    Marilyn Wheeler

My interest with pottery began in 1980 when my eldest child took lessons from a local art teacher. Watching his ability to transform a ball of clay into animals and characters intrigued me. And there it began.

After many more years of self teaching, I knew I needed extra help. Enrolling at Auckland Studio Potters in Onehunga proved to be a very good decision with all the resources and brilliant tutors at my fingertips. I was excited and learning so much more.

During the 90’s, I ran a teaching venue at my home for childen and adults. This was one of the most exciting times of my ceramic career.

My latest bodies of work utilise hand made stencils, airbrushing and sgraffito (scratching through the coloured surface to show the clay colour beneath), creating images of people, places and events. The thrown and handmade works I create have become a canvas for my designs.

In an effort to improve the photography of my works for my website and exhibitions, I embarked on a Diploma in Freelance Photography with NZIBS. Fortunatley, I find that I can now create decals of some of my images and fire them onto some of my plates and vessels.

Throughout this time of ceramic making, I taught Piano at my local school. This was immensely enjoyable, but after 26 years, retirement allowed me to concentrate on pursuing all of the ideas I have stored up for my clay work and photography.

I love being creative, whether it be with clay, photography or in my rather large garden. There is always something else to try, to push further, and that is exciting.

  Pip Gray Ceramics  Pip Gray

Pip Gray draws inspiration for her designs from New Zealand's unique landscape and coastline

In 2001 Pip established her studio after developing a style and technique that is uniquely hers. Prior to that she worked at several ceramic studios after studying art for four years majoring in ceramics. All of Pips artwork is handprinted. Pip creates functional pieces that are all microwave, dishwasher and oven safe.

 Bex Plowman Pottery  Bex Plowman

I've been working with Ceramics for many years now, my focus is wood fired and salt glazed stoneware, which is for domestic use and to beautify the home. I've recently been inspired by movement and energy. This is reflected in my pieces.

I currently work with Auckland Studio Potters as the kiln technician & teach assisting Renton Murray - Hillside Pottery.

Margaret Bray Ceramics  Margaret Bray

Margaret Bray is a multi-disciplinary artist predominantly working with clay. A photographer, fossicker and finder of remnant treasure, Margaret refers to all manner of material and techniques in the production of functional pottery and sculpture.

‘My work explores cause and effect; I relate innately with my surroundings from the inner city to our deep NZ wilderness. I feel and explore the effects of change this may be naturally occurring or the result of purposeful actions. I intend to preserve the delightfully serendipitous, seriously consequential, the dramatic spin-offs and the worthless cast offs, their relevancy grows as does my interest, my feeling of responsibility (which are tempered by realisations of lack of control) and strengthening emotional connection.

Nature above all is paramount the activity, relief, pattern and texture, the dark side, the brutality. I am never failed to be amazed and fascinated at what nature provides for my own visual feast and experience.

Margaret’s current work draws from many classical vessel forms. These are often decorated elaborately with carving and relief inspired by New Zealand’s native fauna and botanicals. From the unseen private life of the creatures high in our tree-tops, through to life underground.

Arthaus studio is Margarets base for the making process, firing methods then follow Wood firing is her passion. She built her wood kiln in 2013 at her property south of Auckland. This 17 hour solo firing adds the final touches to her ceramic work... the path of the fire painting the clay with flame and ash. The results are never the same.

Recent Shows

Margaret has gained selection and awards at various NZ wide ceramic and art exhibitions and was Designer of Auckland Studio Potters member exhibitions; Fire & Clay (Pah Homestead) and Nourish (Allpress Gallery) in 2018 and 2019. Margaret Curates and Designs the Claybenders group exhibitions (2012-2020). Solo Exhibitions include Ponga & Pineat The Pool Room (ASP) and Sing Cicadaat Arthaus Contemporary (2019). In step with her own art direction, Margaret Bray’s work involves designing functional pieces for restaurants and cafes as well as interior and landscape design companies.

Margaret Bray teaches at various Ceramic studios and her love of Photography and Narrative has led to her documentary stories and images being published both locally and internationally.

Ann O'Sullivan  Ann O'Sullivan

Ann lives in the beautiful seaside village of Devonport in Auckland where she works from her  studio and sells her work through her home gallery. She is a qualified experienced teacher and loves to share her knowledge by teaching small group workshops. She studied Ceramic Arts through Otago Polytechnic. All of her pieces are unique and handmade.

Karen Kennedy Ceramic Dog  Karen Kennedy

I live in the Henderson Valley with my husband, wee dog and chooks, and have been creating clay sculpture there for 35 years. I love clay, it is so versatile. My favourite things are dogs, cats, birds, pigs, clowns and figurines, all brightly painted and clear glazed. My big dogs are of a coarser clay and traditionally glazed. All mid fired to 1220o. I have my own pottery room and kiln at home.
I have won over 30 awards over the years.

Elena Renker Ceramics  Elena Renker

I first started potting as a teenager in India and in Germany. In 1998 I joined Auckland Studio Potters where I completed the Diploma in Ceramic Art in 2007. In 2009 I build a wood fired kiln at my studio north of Auckland. My focus has been on producing domestic ware items and Japanese style tea and sake wares. My pots are either loosely wheel thrown or hand carved from a range of stoneware clays and then decorated with an iron slip in quick gestural movements. They are partially glazed in various shino style glazes and fired in my wood kiln for about 15 to 18 hours to 1300C. I love the effect that the wood ash has on the shino glaze, the subtle colours and ash deposits.

MORE TO FOLLOW - Watch this space