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Made With Love

Made With Love

From their rural Te Puna pottery studio, the team (or rather family) at JS Ceramics handcraft their collection with the sort of care you’d give to a newborn child. We spoke with Jen, the leading lady of the brand, chatting about everything from slip-casting to what music you’d likely hear coming from the studio.

Made With Love

No two pieces from JS Ceramics are ever the same. Afterall, they’re all handmade from scratch using a slip-casting process, with plaster moulds. The moulds are individually made and designed by the team, favouring organic/irregular shapes, giving each piece its own unique personality.

As proud stockists of JS Ceramics, we were lucky enough to chat with Jen and ask her a few questions about living the dream as one of New Zealand’s favourite ceramicists…

Your designs are wonderfully unique, do you draw artistic inspiration from anyone/anything?

Yes, often from nature – foliage, flowers and the colours and textures in our local geology. Also from art movements like Memphis Art, and lots of artists models – I’ve always loved Matisse and Georgia O’keffe.

Let’s play favourites; do you have a favourite piece from your collection?

Yes, I really love the wave vase in pink sand (pictured below).

Where does your clay come from?

We get our clay from a supplier in the Waikato – it’s mostly New Zealand clay and is a beautiful, pure white colour.

How should a proud owner of a JS Ceramic piece care for their beloved?

The pieces are best washed by hand, but you can totally get away with putting them in the dishwasher from time to time – I do!

You’re a family owned business, tell us a bit about who’s involved and what they do…

Tom and I are the (married) owners and we both work in the studio – I’m generally working on anything creative, and Tom on anything technical/admin. Pete (my brother) also works for us, his job is managing and participating in the making – and customer service. We also have a couple of other team members who are dedicated makers. Really we all do a bit of everything – like most small local enterprises. Sometimes Mum helps with packaging too!

What’s it like working with family?

Mostly it is great – you know what each other likes/dislikes and have plenty of inside jokes. As long as everyone kind of sticks to their own jobs, and communicates well, it’s not challenging.

Tell us about working in the studio. Is it as cool and zen as it sounds?

Yes often it is – but sometimes like leading up to Christmas, it’s just pure work! Our location in rural Te Puna (Tauranga) does make it generally relaxed. We might pop out an grab a few avocados or mandarins at break time. We open all of our roller doors to the orchards in Summer. Sometimes Pete’s dog Wilbur comes to hang in the studio.

What music would we most likely hear if we stepped inside?

We’re big fans of indie rock and folk – but also often just have the radio on, going with whatever is playing.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

Designing and making something new – then taking the new/one-off piece out of the kiln – I love the anticipation.

What’s your vision for the future? Is there anything you’re not doing now that you’d like to get into? 

Yes, I’d love to use more foraged clays/components, and get better at throwing on a wheel so we can offer thrown (hand-potted) items too.

To view their collection, click here. To purchase your very own unique JS Ceramics piece, visit the MiNDFOOD store by clicking here.

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