Celebrating our collaboration with Misma Anaru
We are very excited to announce our collaboration with Tāmaki Makaurau-based ceramicist Misma Anaru. Misma creates a range of beautiful clay pieces from her Freeman's Bay studio. Her practice is quickly evolving, with her range now available from various stores around New Zealand.
This collaboration came about by a chance visit to Misma's studio. We were long time admirers of her amazing work around and a friend suggested we reach out for a visit. We fell in love instantly with Misma's work. Every detail is thoughtful, precise and considered. That same day we discussed creating a piece that is both beautiful and functional. Our vase was designed for flower arranging at home, using a few stems picked from a morning walk, a gift from a friend's garden or perfectly paired with our Isadia seasonal bouquet - a selection of the seasons finest blooms to be designed your own way. The segmented vase assists in keeping your blooms in place. As you may know, when learning the art of floral arranging they tend to have a life of their own!
Made in Freemans Bay using New Zealand clay these hand built vases are finished with a clear glaze so the natural colour and speckles show through. These vases are available exclusively from Isadia and you can purchase them from our online shop.
We chatted to Misma about her process and inspirations below.
ISADIA: Talk us through your process - how do you make your ceramic pieces
MISMA: Pretty much all my pieces are made through slab building. I roll out clay with a big wooden roller, roughly cut out the shapes and partially dry them between boards. When they’ve dried to the right consistency I cut out the exact shapes using templates and assemble them with a scoring tool, a toothbrush and a mixture of clay and water which acts as a glue. Initially I put them in plastic bags overnight which slows the drying process down and helps stop all those straight lines warping. It’s funny because i used to decry the existence of plastic bags and now the few i have all have holes in them and I think dammit I wish I could get another plastic bag!
When the pieces are dry I sand them and drive them out to Auckland Studio Potters in Onehunga, where they have their first firing. A week later I drive out again, glaze them and leave them for their second firing. A week after that I pick them up. These days nearly everything I pick up is good, but it certainly hasn’t always the case!
Each piece takes about 5 weeks to go through all it’s stages before it’s fully finished, but one of these days I’m going to break the bank and buy my own kiln.
ISADIA: Tell us about your practise, how did you become a ceramic artist?
MISMA: I don’t really know how to answer questions about my practise. Honestly if someone was to peer in on me at random points in the day they could be forgiven for not knowing there was clay in there at all. There’s a lot of fussing about, watching movies, doing laundry, trying to coerce the cat into cuddles, coffee, staring into space, tea, gardening, reading, napping...and in between these various things I get various parts of the making process done.
I try to make the studio as atmospheric a place as possible so that when I go in there I feel, ah yes, I want to be in here. I always light incense and turn on the lamps even though it’s daytime. I have the classical station on or if it gets a bit too harpsichordy I play music off my phone, or audiobooks. I have flowers in there and artworks by friends. I fuss about rearranging things. It might sound a bit silly but making the studio feel right is a big part of the process for me.
As for how I got started, I did a 6 class beginners workshop at Auckland Studio Potters. Then I guess I just never stopped. I really wasn’t very good to begin with, but I loved it so I just kept on at it. I didn’t learn to use a wheel so I came up with things I could build by hand and that has turned out to be very important. It has given me a style and a little niche to work within that isn’t as crowded.
ISADIA: What inspires you in your work?
MISMA: There isn’t any particular movement or person that directly inspires my work. Rather, I am distractingly inspired by an abundance of things, in an everyday, general sort of a way. I watch a lot of films and I read a lot and I’ve been going through a phase of getting big artbooks out from the library. Everyday feels like this wonderfully enjoyable failure, as there are just too many things out there to love and watch and enjoy and learn about!
So I think it must be that my work is a sort of inspiration mishmash of these things that I love.
Also, I just feel so lucky to be doing this. I really want to be able to feel that it’s true, that I am a person that makes things. I want, in my own small way to be an artist. That is probably the biggest inspiration - this ideal of the artist. More than anything I would say it’s that which continues to get me to put my book down and go back out to work.
You can shop our range of Isadia x Misma vases here.
Follow Misma on Instagram here.
All photos by Alex McVinnie.