I have recently moved to Nelson from Wellington and work from my home studio. I first started working with ceramics part-time at Hornsby TAFE Northern Sydney in the early 1990s. At the same time I was also studying full time for a Master of Science (Ecotoxicology) at the University of Technology, Sydney. Unfortunately, something had to give and it was the ceramics. After returning to New Zealand, I pursued a full-time science-based career until the lure of ceramics again got the better of me. After four years working part-time and studying, I completed a Diploma in Ceramic Art from the School of Art at Otago Polytechnic in November 2009.
I primarily take my inspiration from the world around me - the colours, forms, sounds and textures of the land, sea and bush are limitless. My work aims to capture the essence of our wild places and is intended for quiet contemplation in a world which is far too busy.
I love the tactile nature of unglazed surfaces and the subtlety of finishes which can be achieved without glaze. All my work is hand-formed by pinching and coiling using combinations of porcelain and stoneware clays with the silky, translucent porcelain contrasting with the rough, gritty stoneware.
I have works in private collections in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, USA and on permanent exhibition in the Fu-Le International Ceramics Museum in China.
To listen to a conversation with Paul Blais about my transition from a science-based career to that of a working ceramic artist, go to www.ThePottersCast.com/257