Punakaiki, West Coast, South Island
I began my career in ceramics in 1986 when I spent two years at Nelson Polytechnic studying craft design. From there I built a workshop and gallery in Canvastown Marlborough where I operated for about 15 years making and selling a range of pottery in stoneware, earthenware and raku.
In 2003 my family and I moved to a bush block overlooking the Tasman Sea a few miles north of Punakaiki. I started specialising in copper-glazed raku pottery. This involves firing the glazed piece up to 1000 degrees Celsius and removed at this point (red hot) and placed in a bed of shredded paper which ignites. Sawdust is sprinkled over which also ignites then an inverted drum is lowered to exclude oxygen and the reduced atmosphere reacts with the copper glaze.
This causes interesting and often beautiful colour and pattern variations to the copper base glaze. This is fairly unpredictable which is part of the attraction of this type of firing to me, as no two pieces will be the same. Often the process has to be repeated several times until the desirable result is reached.
Many of my works are greatly influenced by the coastal setting, the native trees, flowers in my garden and sunsets over the Tasman Sea.
Over the years I have exhibited work and won several awards in ceramic competitions but these days I am content to sell my work through a select few quality-galleries around the country.
Pieces are not designed to hold water; their function is purely visual.