Hana Rakena CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE WORK
Shells, stones and plants, and the effects of water, wind and natural forces on them inspire me, also ancient pottery, Maori weaving and carving.
I was surrounded by art and craft making as I grew up. After university I spent six months working with West Coast potter Chris Weaver, studied ceramics at Otago Polytechnic for a year and took part in clay workshops with inspirational potters Rick Rudd, Robyn Stewart and Philip Luxton. Now I work with four other artists, each with our own studio space, in an old factory in New Brighton.
These pieces are coiled and pinched by hand over several days or weeks, then refined by scraping back with a metal scraper. The clays I use have grog (prefired and ground up clay) added, and this gives the texture I like. After bisque firing I cover each piece with a fine clay slip and gas fire them for 10 or 11 hours, leaving the final colour to the flame and atmospheric conditions of the kiln.
The perfection of a sea-smoothed shell can never be recreated. Yet I aim for that purity of form, sensual feel and mysterious power in my ceramics.