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KOTARE © Vivienne Paterson 2021 - Ceramic on Wood 20cm

What is your background and how does that inform your art? Photography, botany, tramping and the natural environment have always been strong interests of mine and together inspire my pottery. My career has been in science, mainly in the field of plant chemistry research and as a science technician in school but I have always had an interest in art.​ What type of art do you create and what motivates you to make it? I started pottery as a hobby 20 years ago at the local Kowhai Art & Craft club when my children were young and have experimented with a range of subjects and techniques. I love to create beautiful things from raw products and I often enhance them with scavenged driftwood and recycled copper. The process of shaping each item from clay can be very therapeutic and results in unique pieces. I am motivated by the positive feedback I get from people who enjoy the results as much as I do.

What process, materials, techniques do you use to create your artwork? Electric kiln firing suits the brightly coloured kowhai, pohutukawa, hibiscus and other flowers that I create. The glaze coated on the clay undergoes an “oxidation” reaction when fired in the kiln and the resulting colours are predictable. In contrast, glazes in a Raku firing undergo “reduction” and the results are very variable and more rustic. Beautiful lustre and metallic effects can be achieved which are exciting to use to capture the vibrant colours of our native kereru, kotare, tui and piwakawaka.

Vivienne in her small studio cutting clay to create hibiscus flowers

KOWHAI © Vivienne Paterson 2021 - Ceramic on Copper Pipe 40cm

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