Houston Design Co

Having come from a long line of creative women, Houston Design Co’s owner Holly Houston filled her time with crafts until realising it could become a career.

After taking a sculpture course, she decided to become a full-time potter. Now, she has a small studio in Ponsonby where she makes a range of functional ceramics on the wheel or using hand-building methods.

Holly wanted to work with clay that had a speckle through it, and after talking with some potter friends, she tried black sand. It gave her the look she was after and has since used nothing else.

“I’ve always been process driven. People always tell me I should outsource my work, but for me, it’s the making that’s the important bit. I love to work with my hands. If you’ve seen them, you’ll know, they ain’t so pretty – they’re working lady hands, but they are the most precious thing I possess,” she says.

She mixes the sand into the clay by hand – and says her physiotherapist hates her for it – but loves the minor imperfections that result from it.