Ceramicist Kaye Bustin lives and works from her home in Waikanae Beach, Wellington, creating mini artworks inspired by the intricacies of seedpods and sea shells. Her simple designs draw on her experiences living in India and reflect a fascination with tiny treasures collected from New Zealand beaches and native bush.
What do you make?
At the moment I’m making clay buttons with seedpod impressions marked into the surface. I then glaze them to highlight the wonderful pattern they make. Once the buttons have been fired twice in my ever-trusty kiln, I turn them into rings, earrings, brooches, pins, necklaces and some I mount on board and box-frame.
How did you get into your craft?
I’ve worked in clay since I was 11 years old. I love the tactile medium that it is and especially handbuilding techniques. My ceramics teacher has a lot to answer for!
Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
I trained as a secondary school Art and Dance teacher and I love encouraging and helping others to create, whether in clay or other mediums; it’s mutually inspiring. I taught at a school in India for 6 years and loved the richness and colour of the culture, food, art and craft. Texture and pattern are always present in my work and I think that comes from living immersed in it for so long.
Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
Natural fibres and tactile materials – clay, paper-pulp, wool, seedpods, leaves, cloth… Oooh, and my wooden block prints from India.
What inspires you?
The intricate beauty in natural form, whether a tiny seedpod, an amazing landscape or rain making patterns on a window pane.
Describe your workspace:
A wonderful garage, in my garden, that has space for me to create and for me to give classes and workshops too. I’m very lucky.
Five words that describe your mind: Focused, flitty…
Your favourite feedback from a customer:
“Your work doesn’t look like it’s ‘made in China’, it’s definitely ‘handmade’”. I took that as a great compliment as I love clay to look like clay and not to be too finished.
What are you currently listening to? Le Onde by Ludovico Einaudi
Recommend an album: Zee Avi by Zee Avi
What are you reading now?
I need complete stillness and quiet to read and don’t seem to get that very often in my house with my children but I am attempting to finish reading Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
A favourite quote: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” William Morris.