They are all handmade on a little island in NZ called Waiheke, which is where I come from just FYI. It’s a super cool place with lots of vineyards and beaches, and my family of course, so you can understand why I visit pretty often!
I wanted to find out more about the guys that make these ceramics so I interviewed Peter from Factory Ceramics and here’s what he had to say:
Who makes all these lovely ceramics? Tell us a little about the team.
Peter, Kirsty, Mahoney and Matt. We are group of friends with eclectic skills and diverse interests. This collaboration leads to our unique style.
Why did you choose Waiheke Island to set up shop?
Waiheke is very beautiful, the natural landscape is visually inspiring with infinite greens and blues in the flora and sea, dotted with quirky houses and bright reds.
Can you describe what your studio looks like? Even better, do you have any pics?
In the industrial hub of Waiheke, it’s a sanctuary of creation. Clay comes in, and ceramics go out.
What is your design process from concept to creation? And how long does each piece take to make?
Ideas come suddenly in flashes. They can be dwelled upon for months at times, sometimes half done. Designs must be resolved before going into production and often time is needed to get it right. The process from this point can still take 3 months of experimentation with glazes, making models, moulds, and exacting the finish to a desired conclusion.
Where do you find inspiration?
Designers and makers from the past. Crown Lynn, Tatlin puzzles, house paint, Kimbra and Gotje. The colours of the sea and sky in wild weather.
Do you have any disaster stories from along the way?
Kiln disasters always seem to happen at the busiest time. Ceramic making using extreme heat and glass (glaze) and clay is very open to failures, and seconds are not infrequent but not always unwanted. Sometimes we have happy accidents that turn into unexpected gems. We are kept on our toes.
How and why did you get into ceramics?
Kirst grew up in a hippy community so pottery was given. Pete started working for The Garden Party Factory making hand painted tableware in the nineties and has progressed from there. When tableware disappeared due to cheap imports from Asia, we made wall art plaques. When that market became swamped we decided to get off the wall and back on the table. We wanted to make functional products that were beautiful. Many techniques and making processes we have developed ourselves.
Which is your favourite piece?
I like making bowls from clay slabs impressed with patterns from fabric or plants. The process is so organic and everyone loves it. The terracotta with white glaze is so simple but layered and textural. The milk bottles are loved by all.
Do you have any new exciting designs in the making?
Kirsty is working on jewellery and beads, I’m working on big bowls and big jugs.
What does 2015 hold for Factory Ceramics?
More projects involving chefs and restaurants. We’ve done a few this year and they really appreciate our plates as a beautiful palette for their food art.
Fancy getting social?