Autumn Colour in Auckland

I’ve heard it said that Auckland isn’t a great climate for amazing displays of autumn colour. While it’s true that we don’t match the spectacular show of Fall colours in Vermont for instance, if you look more closely there are a surprising number of choices. In fact it’s not that we don’t have any autumn colour, it’s simply that our temperate climate encourages the growing of a diverse range of plants and so the oranges, reds and yellows are diluted by lots of green. The Liquidambar, Liquidambar styraciflua, tops my... Read the Rest →



I admit it. I spend quite a bit of time at charity shops. You never know what you might find that will inspire a creative project, and although I would say that ceramics is my main focus, I like to mix it up with more whimsical ideas that often have a theme of re-use. I’ve been noticing a lot of bread baskets for sale over the last month or so, and I started to wonder whether they could be put to any use. I grabbed a few – at $2... Read the Rest →


Orange Glaze Experiments

It’s both fun and frustrating to try out new glaze recipes, especially when you start fiddling with them. I heard about a nice orange coloured glaze, which seemed simple enough: put 0.25% Chrome Oxide and 10% Titanium Dioxide into Abbots White glaze and voila. But no….first of all I didn’t have any Abbots White to hand so I decided to try my favourite Satin Matt White instead. The result was promising, a fairly nice creamy mustard yellow, even on the iron-rich clay I use. I thought it’d be good on... Read the Rest →


Sub-Antarctic Islands Trip

On December 15th I boarded the Heritage Expeditions boat, ‘Spirit of Enderby’ for a week-long trip to Campbell, Auckland and Snares Islands. I didn’t really know what to expect apart from wind, cold and that I’d probably be seasick. I was right on all three but what I didn’t anticipate was how amazing the islands were, which completely made up for any discomfort. Due to unpleasant weather, we did our trip in reverse to the normal status quo and our first contact with land was Campbell Island, the southern-most of... Read the Rest →


Reading Garden Books

My usual trick for finding interesting books, is to rummage through the shelves in charity shops at second-hand traders and book fairs. It’s possible to find some real treasures that way. I have to confess it can take me a while to get round to looking at them, let alone reading them, but eventually I get there. I’ve just finished an inspiring read called, ‘On the Wild Side; Experiments In New Naturalism’ by Keith Wiley. It’s the story of his time gardening at a property called The Garden House in... Read the Rest →