How do you feel when you create your work?
I feel tremendously fortunate to finally be doing what I’ve always wanted to do. A primary driver in my life is to learn. Ceramics is a career where you can launch yourself on a never-ending journey of exploration, expression, problem solving and discovery. It allows me to engage both the intuitive-creative and the analytical sides of my brain and occupy an over-active mind. With both hemispheres engaged and satisfied I seem to be able to find a quieter place. In the quiet I feel the deeper emotional currents flowing through me to my work.
What is the nicest thing that someone has said about your work?
“I love it and use it everyday. Using it makes me feel special.”
How does the local area influence your work?
The local flora is important in my decorative work. A Botanist in my earliest career, we originally selected our property as it backs onto a nature corridor in St Helena. I created a garden of indigenous plants as I love their unassuming beauty and easy growing nature. Most of all, having nature at my doorstep is immersive and calming – perfect for the meditation that comes when you’re in the creative zone. I enjoy sharing my creative space and garden each spring at my Open Studio. It will be on September 16 & 17 this year.
What piece are you most proud of?
That’s a hard one. The piece I learnt the most from was a commission I did for Jacques Reymond Restaurant. I created a lidded butter dish to go on all their tables and then more for them to sell. The project had everything, collaborative design, personal expression, commercial negotiation, technical R & D, functional design, production planning and testing, scope changes, managing customer expectations, frustrating technical problems, product ingredient failure, problem solving, tight production deadlines and satisfied customers. Overall, a big bag of challenges! It was quite literally blood, sweat and tears. The restaurant ended up with a product they and their customers loved and I had all the challenges I could wish for.
What goals do you have for the future of your art practice?
There is so much to learn and even more to explore. The acquisition of knowledge isn’t the goal for me, rather the journey of learning itself. Pragmatic business goals in the next 12 months include enlarging my studio & creating a flexible gallery space, a kiln under a covered area and a new social media strategy.
Which other local artist would you like to know more about?
Amy Kennedy is an amazing ceramicist whose work and practice has always inspired me. The small contact that I’ve had suggests the kindest of women with a spirit like a river that runs very deep – intriguing.
For more information about Dianne and her work: