"I make my pots by cutting and carving a solid block of clay in very quick, gestural movements. Once the outside has firmed up I can then carve out the inside and shape the foot of the pot. I use various types of stoneware clays from New Zealand, Australia, USA, Korea and Japan. Each clay has a different colour and texture. The pots are then decorated with an iron oxide or an ash based slip and glazed in a Japanese shino style glaze.
Shino is a traditional Japanese glaze made from a local feldspar found in the Mino region. It became very popular with the Zen tea masters of the 16th century for theirceremonial wares. Shino’s white and brown surface has been compared to the lasttraces of winter snow, with the promise of spring in the air. I first became drawn to shino when I was searching for a glaze to suit a particular pot. Once I started experimenting with this glaze I became fascinated with its compelling nature. The crazing, the pin-holing and crawling, all factors normally considered glaze defects are what give the shino glaze its special character.
As we are unable to obtain the Japanese feldspars here, western potters have developed glaze formulas using available ingredients that mimic the nature of the Japanese shino. But it is really the interaction between the clay, the glaze and the fire that makes this glaze such a challenge for me. Using the same clay and glaze in the same firing cycle can produce completely different results.
When I first started working with this technique a few years ago my main focus was on making tea bowls. For me a tea bowl is a fascinating thing, an object of appreciation and contemplation. It allows a unique combination of functional and sculptural elements. My aim in making a tea bowl is not perfection, on the contrary, it is the imperfections that make the bowl come alive, making it easier to relate to, it makes it more human. During my residency in Japan a couple of years ago I started to experiment making bigger pots, sake cups and bottles, vases etc.
In 2009 I build a wood fired kiln at my studio north of Auckland. I now fire most ofmy pots to 1300C for 15 to 18 hours in this kiln. I love the effect that the wood ash has on the shino glaze, the subtle colours and ash deposits."
Next up in the gallery are Melissa McMahon and Rupert Herring. Rupert & Melissa met while studying at Unitec. They both have a love of making, and would usually be first in and last out of the workshops each day. Rupert has a background in carpentry and creates furniture and sculptural work. Melissa works mostly in clay, but her fashion background means other materials often feature in her pieces. Their work shares an interest in the domestic, the notion of re-use, or mending, and a desire to use imperfection as a creative opportunity.Make : Love is a celebration of making.
Directly inspired by the nebulous space between manufacture of crafted objects and studio craft practice, my objects are frequently inspired by fragments of emotions and experiences. Most often my work takes the form of an urn, I consider them memento mori. Recently I have created a new series of forms which have sprung from explorative making, Since graduating with a Degree in Contemporary Craft in 2015 Melissa’s work has been included in shows at Objectspace, The Vivian Gallery, and selected for the Molly Morpeth Canaday 3D Award. Her work has been selected as Boards Choice in the Eden Arts Art Schools award at The Gus Fisher Gallery in 2015, and was recognized with a Highly Commended Award in the ECC Student Craft and Design Awards at The Dowse the same year.
My aim is to transform old furniture & wood into extraordinary, new pieces. Some of my work celebrates natural ‘imperfections’, defects, and signs of wear. I love that a piece of old discarded furniture has its history ingrained into it; when I re-work a piece of furniture or wood, I give it a new lease of life. 'Re-using what we have' is the philosophy at the centre of all my work.In a world where choice is paramount this limitation of using what is cheap, readily available and sustainable is liberating: finding a use or meaning where it is not necessarily obvious.Rupert’s work has been shown at Objectspace, Depot Artspace, The Vivian Gallery, Waiheke community art gallery and has been featured on ‘Inhabitat’ among numerous other international design sites with a focus on sustainability.
With Suzy’s exhibition that opened on September 24th September we were looking forward to seeing new direction that Suzy Dünser work has taken and we an the great support that she received were not disappointed.
"Where do ideas come from? A vintage railway lantern spied at a market; a Victorian mystery; a new approach to a familiar material. A look back towards the past as we hurtle at an unprecedented rate into the future. And a challenge, in the form of the question: “What would you make if you were freed from function?”The work in Spilled Light responds to all of these, exploring the malleability of memory and the power of objects to evoke emotion."
Franks exhibition is now over. Some of the pieces may still be available for purchase. To make enquires please email us firstname.lastname@example.org
Versions of these wheel forms have previously been selected for the Portage Shows and they have been attracting lots of attention. Frank is presently The Wallace Arts Trust artist in residence at Auckland Studio Potters, a position he won at the annual Fire and Clay Exhibition at Pah Homestead.
"I like to work with white raku or recycled clay and my best tool is a wire cutter to make slabs of clay. I specialise in using cut and textured slabs of clay and fire in an electric kiln at 1200 deg Celsius. My work is about shapes and forms and I strive 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.” Frank is currently the vice president at the Auckland Studio Potters.
You are welcome to come to the opening of Franks exhibition on
Saturday 25th June from 2-5pm
The exhibition runs til 3rd July
Open hours are
10am to 5pm
Wednesday to Sunday
Exhibition of New Work by Frank Checketts on Until Sunday 3rd July
“My work is about shapes and forms and I strive 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.”