RACHEL CARTER - 2017
HOW WERE YOU FIRST INTRODUCED TO THIS TYPE OF WORK AND WHAT DID YOU ENJOY ABOUT YOUR EARLY EXPLORATION OF IT?
Ceramics was part of the curriculum in Sweden where I was an exchange student. I loved working with clay. I’d always painted and drawn previously but there was something much more satisfying about manipulating clay. If you’re a tactile person as well as visual it’s the perfect medium. I then did the odd night pottery class and workshop before deciding that I wanted to take it seriously. I then did a Diploma in Ceramic Arts.
HOW HAS YOUR WORK CHANGED AND DEVELOPED OVER THE YEARS? WHAT FACTORS DO YOU THINK AFFECTED THIS?
I’ve always had a very clean and minimal aesthetic. From the very beginning my work has focused on the form and clean lines. It’s been the surface finishes that have changed over the years. With my early works I went for a very simple glaze finish but as I’ve learnt more about the history and chemistry behind glazes I’ve really begun to appreciate a variety of glaze surfaces more.
PLEASE DESCRIBE WHERE YOU WORK FROM? WHAT DO YOU FIND SPECIAL ABOUT LIVING OUT WEST?
My studio is a room under our house in Waima Crescent. I’m so lucky to have a home studio - I can just pop up and down when I need. I love being able to come up for lunch, sit out in the back garden and look up at the bush and watch the huge variety of birdlife in it. It’s great to have that quiet part of the day before the kids are home from school and things feel busy again. I think living in amongst nature really impacts every aspect of life out West. It’s what makes it such a special place. It even makes all the rain bearable.
WHAT CAN VISITORS EXPECT TO SEE WHEN THEY POP BY YOUR STUDIO DURING OPEN STUDIOS WAITAKERE?
People will be able to see my work at varying stages of completion. I’ll either be throwing or turning pieces on the wheel. I have a gallery next to my studio so people will be able to view a range of work there and maybe pick up some Christmas gifts at studio prices. I’ll also have the coffee machine down in the studio so visitors will be able to stop and relax with a nice coffee.
NAME YOUR TOP 5 SECRET SPOTS YOU LIKE TO VISIT IN THE WAITAKERE RANGES?
We’ve only been living here for the last year so we’ve not discovered any really secret spots yet but we have been enjoying the obvious places. Cornwallis Beach is always a favourite for picnics. Any walking track that that ends in viewing waterfalls is fun, such as Karamatura Falls or Fairy Falls. And just having Exhibition Drive a short walk away is fantastic for walking and biking with the kids.