Author Ceramics is the creative enterprise of Stephen Smith, an Auckland-based ceramicist who was raised in Taranaki. Stephen credits the awe-inspiring coastline of Aotearoa as being a significant factor in his practice. This wild combination of influences shows in the wavy imperfection of his forms; the soft slip of his pillow vases, & the dark, moody black clay sand.
Stephen’s transformation into a full-time potter is remarkable. He developed a love of ceramics after working as a chef, both locally & abroad. Eager for a challenge during a lockdown, he hired a wheel, consulted YouTube, & embarked on a dinner set for his upcoming nuptials. He was instantly hooked & as they say, "the rest is history".
Most of Stephen’s work is wheel thrown, with some slab-built pieces. He uses local clay, blended with sand & earth. Simple glazes & a simple firing process allow the imperfections in the clay to stay true.
For Stephen, ceramics hold a special place in human relationships, vehicles through which family & friends connect both in good times & bad, enabling rituals that create memories. The happiness or sadness a piece may bring holds a story that will last longer than the piece itself, a story that is slowly created over time by the owner & the home it lives in. In this way, it is the guardian of the piece who helps to ‘author’ & participate in its meaning.