We are proud to have Paul Maseyk Pottery on our shelves here at Kina. Paul has been working as a full time artist since 1998 and is noted for producing ceramic works ranging from tableware through to highly illustrated large sculptural pieces.
Recently Paul spent time at Driving Creek Railway and Pottery in Coromandel. Whilst there, we captured the unique studio environment and caught up with Paul on his return.
How long have you spent there and why is Driving Creek Railway and Pottery so important to you?
My first term as an "inmate" at Driving Creek Railway and Pottery was in 1998 after finishing a Ceramic Design and Production Diploma at Wanganui Regional Community Polytechnic. I had an American friend Erik Omundson who was making pottery there and he encouraged me to come up and approach Barry Brickell to see if I could do the same. Since then I have lived and worked there for about five years all up, in varying length stints.
Driving Creek Railway and Pottery was initially important in my career as a potter by allowing me a place to live and make work that was sort of in-between the structure of a tertiary institution and the "real world". I could make pots all day and hone my craft that way, but sell railway tickets and plant trees on the property to cover the rent on my accomodation while also making a bit of money selling my pots in the shop.
Since then I got to know the environment, organisation and history intimately, (not to mention owner and founder Barry Brickell too) so Driving Creek Railway and Pottery has become probably the most important factor in my development as a potter. I love and care for the place, especially now Barry has died.
Other than working on your own works what other aspects of your time at Driving Creek Railway and Pottery did you enjoy?
I especially enjoy the camaraderie of the place and reconnecting with the staff there who I still know. As I have been involved with Driving Creek Railway and Pottery for such a long time I have a knowledge about what and how things were done in the past and can pass that along to the current staff as advice. That is not to say they have to take that advice, however just to let people know some of the history may make doing things easier where that knowledge may have been lost.
The pottery side of Driving Creek Railway and Pottery is making a strong comeback after Barry's death and as a resident making work for the last few weeks I have enjoyed getting to know my fellow residents, all there on differing short-term projects. I can't tell whether it is the environment there or the fact that we are all thrown together in close proximity to make the best of it, but it allows quick bonds to be forged that will last over time.
You have a wide range of processes in your making. What is your favourite aspect of the pottery process?
Like any job, certain aspects of making pottery for a living can become a chore. I have been doing this for the last twenty five years full-time and have learnt that to make a diverse range of works from tableware to extremely high-end pieces varies the interest as well as broadens the potential income stream.
If I had to choose one favourite aspect of the work it would probably be wood firing a kiln. Elemental in nature, it involves bricks, huge heat, sweat, big hunks of wood and hopefully at the end - beautiful pots.
What is next on the agenda for Paul Maseyk Pottery?
Having just returned form Driving Creek Railway and Pottery I now have to make large amounts of tableware as stock. I also plan to return to Driving Creek Railway and Pottery soon to wood fire the work just made which I couldn't do as the pots were not drying fast enough.
To view Paul Maseyk's domestic ware and ceramic works, click here