It must be a poetic existence having two passions in your life that both entail using only your imagination and your hands.
One of our favourite ceramicists, bubbly local gal Morgan Haines, does exactly that. Living, traveling, and working as a chef in New Zealand and abroad, she infuses her culinary knowledge into a range of slip-cast homeware pieces. Made in delicate pastel shades the pieces are a combination of religious iconography and 1940’s wallpaper which give her work both a distinctive texture and a wonderful sense of humour!
Tessuti have stocked Morgan's work for the four years she has been making her ceramics and constantly receive fantastic feedback. People love to collect her pieces for their kitchens and living rooms. They are also great gifts for the person in your life who already has everything!
We caught up with Morgan and talked to her about the juxtaposition of her work, the filtered sunlight in Sandspit, and the taming of her wig...
- When did you start making ceramics?
About four years ago.
-What or who are some inspirations that inform your designs?
Ha! My husband said I had to say him when I read this question out loud!!! Pffff... I'm not sure where my obsession for religious iconography came from, I just ended up with lots of little bits and bobs after a trip around Europe and Mexico, and from there they evolved into my work. It is probably my parents who are my inspiration. My dad is a sculptor and taught me how to make moulds for slip casting and my mother is always making things in her chaotic, colourful sewing room, full of lovely materials and beads.
- What would you say is your personal favourite piece, and why?
I can't say that I have one, I change my mind all the time (about everything!!). I was really happy with the peep boxes I recently collaborated with a friend on for a bedroom show.
- Tell us about the space in which you work from.
I started on the dining room table then quickly kicked the cars out and took over the garage, now I have extended the garage and have spread into another room in the house! I'm out of control! But, I love working from home. I have learnt to be quite disciplined. There are so many nice wineries nearby for lunch though...
- We love the soft colour palette that you use across your work. Can you tell us why you chose to use soft, pastel colours over, say, something brightly colored or printed?
I don't really know, it is just a personal preference I think. Originally I liked the ceramics being slightly clumsy looking, with skulls and things on them, and the juxtaposition of having them painted in a pretty coloured pastels was appealing.
- What was the last thing you saw that really inspired and moved you?
Ohhhhh, there must be something! Probably something I ate or some beautiful shoes! I did see some amazing art exhibitions in Sydney recently, too.
- How will you be spending your summer this year? Any traditions or favourite destinations you like to visit?
Well, working in hospitality most of my life, summer holiday as such had never really happened. We've always waited until everyone has gone back to work and school, then taken a holiday. We live in the bush in Sandspit so it's like a summer haven here. It's beautiful and cool with gorgeous, filtered sunlight. This area has become so busy though, we tend to make a dash for a splash in the sea then have friends around for dinner parties. We are hoping to go camping at Mahia this summer too.
- You biggest indulge over summer is....?
All year seems to be an indulgence, I don't really save any specific thing for summer..... oh lala that sounds terrible!! ...Or terrific?
- What is the one thing that is going on your Christmas wish-list?
Some magic thing to tame my wig!
Images above feature Morgan Haines Salad Bowls $41.50 each, Morgan Haines Espresso Cups $39 each, Morgan Haines Royal Motif Salt Pot $46, and Morgan Haines Little Wallpaper Dishes $24 each. All available now at Tessuti. You can view all of Morgan Haines' work here.