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Elena Renker


Born in Germany, Elena was first introduced to pottery in 1977 at the Golden Bridge Pottery run by Ray and Debra Meeker in Pondicherry, India. This 3 month period potting under a mango tree proved to be the catalyst for a future career in ceramics. More structured learning followed on her return to Germany at the studio of Gisela Fattorini, a Canadian potter working in southern Bavaria. After a year with Fattorini she moved to Munich, started a family and subsequently moved to New Zealand.

Elena's pots are loosely thrown on the wheel or faceted and hand carved using various types of stoneware clay. Often they are slightly deformed to fit more comfortably into the hand of the user. They are then decorated with various ash or iron slips and partially glazed using quick, gestural movements. They are fired in either her wood-kiln or gas-kiln for 12 to 18 hours up to 1300C, the effects of fire and flame adding another dimension to the surfaces of her pots.

Elena's aim is not perfection. On the contrary, her belief that imperfections bring the pieces alive makes them easier to relate to, makes them more human. Nature's perfection lies within its own asymmetry.