Sunday, August 22, 2010

Vessel ...

VESSEL is one of my all-time favourite places in Wellington and with their generous permission, I am able to show you some of the reasons why it's on my list as a must see in our beautiful city.

Vessels are alluring objects. They are functional, decorative and especially here, they are highly desirable objects. I love the way the light played on this window display and the austere interior is gallery like, displaying wares to their best advantage.. My photos are taken from my phone and do not do justice to what one experiences in person. This is just a sampler.
I want a table like this covered with handmade earthenware. Gorgeous! It's no secret I want to learn to make my own wares, how lovely to take something as simple as clay and create beautiful dishes like these. sigh.
Those blue dishes are really striking.
My son takes it all in as I show him what I like and why, and also get his opinion on things. He was happy playing with a gadget in the corner. So funny, just like his dad.
So many temptingly beautiful things.
I love that stack of handmade plates. I have a similar stack but mine came from op shops over the years. I love the blemishes that one finds on these wares. Production made stuff from factories is perfectly (and rather boringly) smooth and symmetrical, these however are beautiful for their blemishes and marks and handcrafted shape. Tea anyone? I love a hot pot of tea, anytime, anywhere. Make mine Earl Grey please?
These would look fantastic on a wall although that old skool mentality of sticking beautiful things away and never using them is a bit nuts. I believe we should enjoy our things now. Use them. Share them with others and allow ourselves the pleasure of usage.

Green is my favourite colour although that striking blue is once again rather eye-catching.

Milk Jug, a nicer alternative to plastic.

Quirky, endearing, lovable pig.

Ceramic brooches in such wonderful colours especially the green ones.


Being a textile loving girl, I couldn't think of a nicer complementary marriage than handmade textiles and earthenware. The contrast of hard and soft, cold and warm always draws me in my own work with raw materials. About twenty years ago, I remember seeing a group of specialists on tv who predicted that people would become more 'nest-like', that their homes would become more nurturing places where people would want to spend more time in rest and recreation, building haven-like homes. This is certainly true when we look at the latest home magazines. People are building homes they can retreat too and of course, filling it with objects that satisfy that instinct to indulge themselves, cover themselves and nurture self. Its definitely become more desirable proportionally as we have also developed as a nation that works long hours, fills in recreation hours with more activities and achievements, and what little time we have for ourselves privately is rather precious.

It all sounds rather hedonistic and selfish but we're more likely to entertain in our homes as well. Decks are built and bbq's are fired up in the summer, and in the winter, dinner parties where food and stories are shared abound. Imagine serving food in these dishes. I have so many foodie friends now, who love to cook for cookings sake. Sadly, I have not succumbed to that passion but I do love owning nice dishes to serve our rather simple fare on. And Vessel has lots of lovely dishes indeed. A nice platter can make anything look good! ;)
I love stitched dolls like these. A lovely handmade dolly is a great improvement from horrid plastic barbies. I was never one for dolls as a child, but as an adult I find these highly desirable. I do enjoy creating my own designs occasionally.

Flower soup anyone? What could be better than a beautiful green bowl of full of cloth stitched flower brooches? I'm excited at a few teaching opportunities to pass on some skills and a request from a group of young women who wish to make their own jewellery. I have visions of unique textile delights they can make by hand affordably and the wonderful comraderie of women gathering to stitch, talk and eat.

A textile lovers corner ... blankets, toys, felted bags. Perfect!

I love this tiki cushion, its in every second fashionable home magazine at the moment as are the other designs. The other work is beautiul too, lovely prints of New Zealand fauna like the red cusion with the kowhaiwhai flower. I'm a proud kiwi. I love my whenua.

Sophie Digard
I love crochet, its no secret and Sophie Digard is an artist who has taken this craft to another level all around the world. I was surprised to find her work here in New Zealand a few years back in Vessel.
Sophie's easily googled and has the best images for yarn lovers. I first read about her in the specialist textile magazine Selvedge . Just one of her scarves on the Selvedge website is 200 quid. Yikes!

Paul Maseyk
Artist, ceramics.
I would take any one of Paul's works home in a heartbeat. I love his sense of form and his use of symbols and motifs. They are also predominantly black and white. Colour is used sparingly if at all, to accentuate but not dominate the work. It definitely resonates with me.

There's that positive and negative almost tribal mark making happening. Nice simple forms.Imagine if my pantry shelves looked like that!

I would like to drink my first cup of coffee in the morning from this mug and my last cup of tea at night. It has the perfect mug-feel. The right weight, it sits flat and secure on the table and its the perfect shape. At around $65 its relatively cheap for a piece of art but really expensive for a cup! What a luxury to own any one of these pieces. Its another thing that if I had more disposable income, I would definitely invest in Maseyk's work. Not only the joy of owning such beautiful objects but I have a feeling these will become highly collectible in the not so distant future.

Here is what is says about Paul on the Vessel website ... "Intricate geometric patterns, repeating symbols – vases, jugs, bowls, beakers – terracotta with a black or white slip. Functional pieces by one of New Zealand's high-profile artists."

VESSEL is one of my favourite stores in Wellington. I love handmade, I love ceramics, I love authentic artistic creations and it oozes all that goodness and more! There are of course many many wonderful creations by many talented artists. Follow the link for a much more comprehensive view of their lovely wares and the artists who make them, as well as details of their location. I also appreciate stores like this that allow small artists like myself to make a living from their goods. Perhaps one day I can have goods sold here too.

Haha, upon rereading this post, I noticed rather alarmingly how many times I wrote "I love ...". Thank you for indulging me.


ArtPropelled said...

Its easy to get carried away about the things we love and the beautiful earthenware pieces in this post are particularly lovely. I love your new blog look too ... and "On the mend" in your sidebar..... and the eco-cloth detail as well.

Storycloth said...

What a great write-up! You have done the shop proud - and deservedly, so by the looks. The earthenware bowls really are gorgeous. Gilly.

Gill said...

Utterly fabulous! I want to be there.
It's taken me awhile to get back to you since you asked about a hoodie pattern. I have found it and will send you a photocopy if you want to email me with your address. Homespun chunky wool would be perfect for it.

Gail said...

Wow, wow, wow. I feel almost sick with excitment at all those amazing photos of gorgeous things. And I popped by to visit because I saw your blog in the side bar of another I visit... and thought Ahipara is a place I'd like to visit!

aoki takatugu said...

It's so nice, I love works, expect your talent

roz said...


Jen said...

I can't believe I have driven past this store hundreds of times and never looked in there. I am going to rush down there the moment I am back from holiday, it looks AMAZING!