5 Aotearoa ceramists making waves in the art world

Support local artisans and watch your interiors thank you for it Shannon Courtenay of Shannon Courtenay Ceramics. Photo: Luisa Apanui

If your table is missing that certain je ne sais quoi, or perhaps you’re woefully underprepared for receiving flowers on your birthday, it’s time to invest in some ceramics. Ceramics help ground any room, providing a focal point for the eye and often lending height relief or texture to a space.

From vases to plates, mugs and candleholders, our online marketplace, Shop Your Home and Garden, offers an expertly curated selection of affordable and unique pottery and ceramics from local artists alongside complimentary shipping.

Read on to learn more about some of our favourite Kiwi potters and ceramists, and find your new dreamy piece of decor at

5 noteworthy NZ ceramists to have on your radar

1. Magnolia Lane & Co Ceramics

From left: Classic White Cakestand, $81.99, Round Soap Dish, $44.99

Taranaki ceramicist Courtney Pryce of Magnolia Lane & Co Ceramics conjures up gorgeous creations. There’s something for everyone, from candle holders to jewellery dishes and salad bowls. They’re perfect for gifting to that impossible-to-buy-for friend or for treating yourself.

Hand-thrown with stoneware clay in an old cowshed, Courtney’s creations are dreamy and detailed with love. They’re made for a soft life, from strolling the fields with a ceramic takeaway cup to washing berries in a rustic bowl and storing butter in the most charming of dishes. “Pottery has tested my patience and creativity in many ways,” she says.

The low-down: 

  • Price range: $37 to $81
  • Hosts workshops in Taranaki
  • Each piece is individually handcrafted one at a time
  • Free New Zealand shipping


2. Shannon Courtenay Ceramics

From left: Surface Espresso Cup, $44, Old School Trio, $814

Those who appreciate daily mindfulness will find an affinity with Shannon Courtenay Ceramic’s calming, contemporary pieces. Shannon fell in love with clay whilst studying for a Fine Arts degree, and now spends her days gathering inspiration from her studio on Kind Farm Animal Sanctuary in the idyllic Cardrona Valley.

She plays with themes of thoughtful sustainability, such as taking incomplete dinnerware sets found in op shops, creating a plaster mould, and slip-casting them to conjure up her ceramic pieces.

Other times, Shannon shapes her clay upside-down so the surface is the last thing to be revealed, constructing handmade plates, mugs, and bowls that speak of an artisanal, homespun process.

The low-down: 

  • Price range: $34 to $814
  • Sizes range from shot cups to espresso cups and mugs
  • Uses mould-making, slip-casting and hand-building methods
  • Free New Zealand shipping


3. Finn Store

From left: Blue Ceramic Candle, $56, Green Ceramic Candle, $56

In 2019, Finn Aroha started to practice the art of candle making from her shared flat kitchen, dreaming of creating a candle refillery with unique ceramics and earth-friendly practices.

She’s now created Finn Store, where she collaborates with local makers who share her collective passions.

It’s her collaboration with Matamata studio potter Larissa Goodwin that really has us excited. Choose between a floating blue or green glazed ceramic jar with a hand-poured soy candle nestled inside. Just bliss!

The low-down: 

  • Price range: $56
  • Uses stoneware clay fired in an electric kiln and finished with custom glazes
  • Their ceramic candle jars are refillable
  • Made with locally sourced materials
  • Free New Zealand shipping


4. Flow Studio Ceramics

From left: Rocco Vase, $275, Raku Copper Red Vase, $310

Out on the shimmering blue waters of Tāmaki Makaurau, Staci Coble of Flow Studio Ceramics dreams up the most beautiful bowls and vases.

“I have a deep love and respect for the ocean and love to surf, which is where I tend to draw inspiration for my work,” she tells Your Home and Garden.

From wavy statement bowls to glossy trinket trays, Staci weaves the natural world around her into her work. If you’re looking for a tabletop centrepiece, or an eye-catching decorative object, you’ve come to the right place.

The low-down: 

  • Price range: $80 to $510
  • Each piece is crafted by hand and made to order
  • Largely wheel thrown. Some pieces use Raku, an ancient Japanese firing technique
  • Free New Zealand shipping


5. Author Ceramics

From left: Lilly Bowl, $144, Pillow Vase, $219

Incorporating the raw and rugged beauty of New Zealand clay and sand into his creative process, Stephen Lee of Author crafts evocative, considered ceramics that are often inspired by his family, his spirit of exploration and his past adventures as a chef.

If you’re sentimental about Aotearoa and storytelling, you’ll cherish one of his vases or bowls for a lifetime.

“The sand we collect is in every piece that we make…each piece will now have a new story, as a gift for a loved one, for yourself or your home, you are now the Author and the story of this piece begins with you,” Stephen says.

The low-down: 

  • Price range: $139 to $529
  • Sand used from Aotearoa’s East and West coasts
  • Locally sourced clay
  • Free New Zealand shipping


How do I choose a ceramic piece? 

When selecting the perfect ceramic piece, it’s essential to consider several factors like your current interior style, the room’s colour palette, the available space and your budget.

If your room looks a bit plain, perhaps a large vase will be the showstopper you’re looking for.

If you’re after some comfy, cosy style, there’s nothing like sitting on the couch with a beautiful handcrafted mug.

If your room is too cluttered, a bowl or trinket tray can help hide everyday bits and pieces in a fashionable, sleek way.

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