The Waterman Chronicles - a gallery of works by New Zealand artist, potter and poet John Waterman
gallery of works by john waterman :: new zealand artist, potter, poet



Gallery 4: New Zealand pottery, ceramics and sculpture by John Waterman

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  • Gallery 4: WALLPLATE, 'Whales Sounding', 60cm diameter, stoneware.
    The ocean has been such an inspiration to me. During my twelve years as a diver, I learned to stop being a hunter and to appreciate and respect this "mother from which all life sprang".

    In one lifetime we have almost exterminated our beautiful whales and continue to deny that they do not belong to us - we have no prior right to their species. What happens to the whales is a simple barometer of what will happen to us if we continue our path of ignorance and stupidity.

    We forget that Gaia, our Earth, is old - she has been through many cycles of rise and fall and has many ways of protecting her life force and balance.


    Kopuku stoneware clay, due to its high content of a slippery clay called bentonite, is a wonderful clay with which to create very large objects such as bowls and wallplates. It also has a fairly high iron content, which can result in a very pale green celadon colour in an otherwise white glaze, as in this opaque white dolomitic glaze. Air-brushed cobalt stain. Reduction fired to 1300C in a top-hat LPG ceramic fibre kiln.
  • Gallery 4: SCULPTURE, 'Breather of the Void', 23cm x 12cm x 700cm, low temperature clay and slip.

    Breather of the void
    you master of all

    Breathe me in to
    the emptiness
    that sustains

    The light of that
    abyss heals me
    with infinite love.


    This somewhat totemic sculpture is built from slabs of flat and hand-carved red earthenware clay, laden with silica sand. Its making involved an extraordinary amount of scraping the leather-hard clay with steel ribs, after which it was covered in white clay slip.

    It took me a while to see this sculpture for what it was, rather than what it "should" be. Various chips in the fired clay and missing bits; usually the bane of a potter's work; have additionally graced its surface, lending to it an ancient quality. Oxidized firing to 1100C earthenware temperature in an LPG fibre kiln.
  • Gallery 4: PLATE, 'Dusk Landscape'
  • Gallery 4: : TILE MURAL, 'The Beach', stoneware
  • Gallery 4: : Plate-pukeko-family
  • Gallery 4: : Plate-fishesoflight-II
  • Gallery 4: : Wallplate-tao2
  • Gallery 4: : Wallplate-bringerofthesun
  • Gallery 4: : Wallplate-thetearsofthings
  • Gallery 4: CUP & SAUCER, ceramic crayon
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