Paul Maseyk 'One Pot Wonder'

Paul Maseyk, Taranaki ceramist is exhibiting at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. His exhibition titled ‘One Pot Wonder’ will run from July 12 – November 30 2014. This is the first group of works to come out of his New Plymouth studio for an exhibition and we couldn’t be more proud of him.

We have checked in with Paul during various stages of the process. We were lucky enough to see these pieces as simple naked sculptural variation of shapes before Paul finely painted the surfaces with great detail. We were also there when he first stacked his largest work consisting of 3 pots together measuring over 2 metres in height and inspired the title of the show – ‘One Pot Wonder’.

Enjoy the images below and read on to see just what makes this ceramic artist tick. You just might understand the method to his madness.




First things first. Pick a colour any colour? Your favourite.

As a youngster I’ve always had green as a lucky colour, but I don’t think it is now my favourite. Most of my work seems to be a combination of black, white and red.


Favourite book, movie, musician?

Book - Catch 22 (thought the movie version is a perfect adaptation of the book)

Movie - The Big Lebowski or Magnolia

Music - Nick Cave and Coco Rosie


Coffee or Tea?

Coffee of course. Tea is completely unsatisfying and basically useless as a drink. There is a nice quote I have used before in my work:

“The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce”.


If you were an animal which one would you be?

I’ve often been accused (by the same person mind you) of being slow moving particularly in the thought/brain department so I guess a sloth or tortoise may fit the bill.


Choose another profession from what you are doing now.

Some suit wearing city-slicker. It would be interesting to work in some kind of big corporate office to experience all that boss/politics/sucking up/going forward crap first hand. It is something I will never know, working as I do entirely alone, if I would have been any good at moving up that slippery corporate ladder.


Which super hero are you?

pass. I have enough of a problem dealing with reality.


And onto the serious stuff. When did Dunedin Public Art Gallery get in touch about doing the show? How did it come about?

The invitation came from Cam McCracken who is now Director at the DPAG. He first proposed the idea of an exhibition when he was Director of the Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt. However he moved to his new position in Dunedin and after settling in there he contacted me in November 2013. I am just grateful to be asked to do it, wherever the venue!


Did you know what you wanted to create - how did it develop?

No I didn’t know what I was going to make. I knew I needed five or six new pieces as that was the brief from DPAG. I knew I wanted to use a new white clay, and more glaze than I had in the past. To try to make something different from previous work, so there was some progression in the exhibition when the new work was lined up with the older lent pieces. (as well as this new work, there are 12 pieces lent from the people who own them).

I did know I wanted to make something very large though. There is a spot available for me to use in the entrance foyer of DPAG which has very high ceilings so I needed something substantial to fill it up. That is how “One Pot Wonder” came about.


Do you strategically plan or do you create as you go?

I make it up as I go along. I start with constructing the shapes. When I have a few done, I get onto the drawing. That is a very fluid process which can leave me confused and stuck for days on end. I get there in the end though.


Did you develop a new style or technique when making pieces for the ‘One Pot Wonder’ exhibition? Will you continue this new development in the future?

I made three very colourful pieces. Big Orange, Big Yellow and Big Blue. They’re new and a departure from my other styles. I am making more in this vein, even though I don’t know if I like them yet, or if anyone else does!


What is your favourite piece?

I like aspects of each of them. There is a something special in each one. I really like the milk bottle as painted on “Going to shit”. I think it is amazing. It is difficult to do that style of shading with clay, and that is what I am painting with - liquid clay. It dries so fast it is fairly difficult to get right. The random drawings on the ‘One Pot Wonder’ are marvelously surrealistic. I like the bright shiny colours, particularly the orange on ‘Big Orange’. Then the geometric squares on “Check-mate” are effective. The way the squares get smaller as the pot tapers.


Which piece are you most proud of?

I’m proud of ‘One Pot Wonder’ because it is so detailed. It’s a temptation to make something so big then scale the decoration to the size of the piece i.e. make big decoration on it - that would be cheating in a way. So instead, I took the time and made tiny little details with small little drawings to cover the surface. There was a lot of time spent on that pot.



 To view Paul's homewares available at KINA click HERE