Ceramicist Amanda Shanley likes to have fun with her work and polka dots,
primary colours and scribbles abound.
Her brightly-coloured, playful creations are treasured for their
practicality and family-friendly style, as well as their understated
“The ceramics we use at home are all hand made by New Zealand potters; my
own as well as friends works. My daughter Frances and my sister Nicola have
painted on many that I have made .They are all ‘good’ and we use them every
day!” States Amanda.
Since graduating from Otago Polytechnic a decade ago, Shanley has steadily
built up a career as a production potter, and her studio in Macandrew Bay
overlooking Otago Harbour is testament to her success, as her numerous
awards. Dozens of plates, mugs and beakers wait to be shipped around New
Zealand, and school-children have visited for workshops, creating
personalised plates as gifts, valued mementos or the beginning of budding
potting careers. In the age of increasingly homogenised mass production of
homewares, Stanley’s work is highly valued for its irregular shapes,
hand-painted finish and the inherent uniqueness of wheel-thrown objects. It
is work that looks and feel carefree, but is anything but.
Shanley works with white, high-fired earthenware clay and prefers strong
primary colours. Her functional, multi-purpose pieces fly in the face of
fuss and pretension, but still manage to bring a touch of glamour to the
everyday cup of tea.