About Lisa

Lisa works from her home studio in Carterton, Wairarapa – one of New Zealand’s stunningly beautiful landscapes.

Her ongoing journey in pottery began in 2010 at Otago Polytechnic School of Art, then with Wellington Potters, and continued via collaborations with fellow potter Sam Ludden. Lisa has arranged fun masterclasses with pottery colleagues and has been grateful to learn from Paul Winspear and Paul Melser.

Lisa creates tableware and sculptural vessels employing throwing, slab-building and slip-casting. Her passion is glazing: chasing both beautiful breaks of overlapping glazes, as well as repeatable ones. She has gone from high-fire to mid-fire glazing, and fires in an electric kiln on white, buff and recycled clays.

Tableware, particularly coffee cups, are Lisa’s first unified series, working backwards from glazing to form. Outside glazing adds a liveliness to these forms and the inside glazes are practical food- and dishwasher-safe ones.

3 Cups On Wood Lisa Donaldson Ceramics
My passion for pottery is influenced by my background in geochemistry. I’m encouraged by the principles of chemistry that explain the geological processes of the earth, and I can now look back on my first job as making one glaze ingredient –  titanium dioxide – from another – West Coast ilmenite sands!

I draw inspiration from family holidays spent tramping NZ National Parks, including our local Tararuas. There is a lot of time to think when you are tramping over rocks surrounded by immense mountain ranges and bush. There are no phones and the only clock is track time.

Lisa Donaldson On The Kepler 1200

Ideas come from the natural surroundings: from what is right underneath my feet and what can be seen from a distance. Glazing – melting mixes of feldspars, oxides and minerals, from the earth – allows me to place those images onto the surfaces of both domestic and sculptural vessels.

I find joy in solving technical problems and playing with the ideas that come from happy experimentation with clay; pleasure in combining clay scraps with additions of found minerals from the river to create unique and delightful works of art and utility.

Lisa Donaldson