​Jackie Saunders

Ceramic Artist

Observation of our stunning scenery became a powerful catalyst.

I was driving through the South Island every week for 3 years for work.
I had to answer the questions that had become my constant travel buddies.
If not now, when?
When would I stop, get off this wheel and actually dare to pursue a long-postponed passion for art and creativity?
I decided at 50, it was time I got stuck in.
After a trip to Europe and trying a number of interests, I discovered clay.
The seemingly infinite possibilities of technique, firing methods, and the many art forms it encompasses made it challenging and captivating.
I felt I had found my personal creative jackpot which is where JaxPots comes from.
Inspiration comes from my travels.
The scenery I saw throughout Central Otago, Southland and Canterbury is forever etched in my soul.
Turquoise lakes atop dams, craggy volcanic rocks, bright white snow, fluorescent lime rapeseed fields in the distance, blue, blue skies, fluffy white clouds. 
The amazing multi-coloured lupins of the Lindis rippling ahead of and around me, feeling like I was riding a magic carpet in a Disney movie. Just incredible.
The ever-changing light, the gold grass and twinkling night skies of the MacKenzie Country.
The seashore, with its windswept sand dunes, swaying beach grass, driftwood, shells, the many hues of the sea, metallic rocks and glittering sand all live within my palette.
I focus primarily on decorative work.
I find Raku irresistible, the raw, primal, spontaneous nature of burning horsehair and feathers into hot burnished vessel surfaces.
Saggar firing, and the random patterns of naked raku are my favourites.
The final reveal as the slip falls away or the saggar is cracked open make my heart race with anticipation.
I am very attracted to works that play with pattern, light or negative space, these feature in display pieces and wall installation works.
Fantasy florals and corals emerge intuitively and are inspired by the hope that we can repair and protect our planet.
That these precious ecosystems are resilient and adaptable and that their astonishing beauty will prevail.
It took me some in-depth contemplation as to why I am a Ceramic Artist and not something else.
Inherently I am fascinated by metamorphosis and transformation.
Clay much like ourselves experiences molding, shaping, exposures to extreme situations. It is often pushed well beyond its limits and yet it endures, it matures, it transforms.
Ultimately it reveals its character, strengths and true beauty.
This parallel speaks strongly to me.
I work from my rural home studio in Leithfield, North Canterbury, visits to my studio are welcome. 

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JaxPots - Home Studio 39 Smiths Road, Leithfield, North Canterbury