Portage Ceramic Awards
Finalists
Portage Ceramic Awards



Te Uru is pleased to announce Northland-based potter Mark Mitchell as the Premier Award Winner of the 2019 Portage Ceramic Awards for his work Slice.

Merran Esson

The Award, with a value of $15,000, was presented by this year’s guest judge, Sydney-based artist and teacher Merran Esson, at a ceremony held at Te Uru in Titirangi on Thursday 21 November.

“There was one vessel, which on taking it out of its crate, tore at my heartstrings,” says judge Merran Esson. “In this one piece there is a fine balance between success and failure. I returned to this piece throughout my considerations, I lifted it up and felt its weight, heavy enough to be robust, but just light enough to show the skill and mastery of its maker.”

Mark Mitchell, who has a studio and gallery in Haruru, says his ceramic interests lie predominantly with the vessel as an archetypal form, combined with the rich and long history of decorative arts. “I use pattern to create illusionary planes, explore the boundary between surface and form and how the two relate.”

Esson also presented two Merit Awards to Dunedin-based artists Blue Black for Musical Chairs, and to Kylie Matheson for Yoke.

A further two Honourable Mentions were awarded to Aaron Scythe for, Pairing, and to last year’s Premier Award winners, Sang-Sool Shim and Keum-Sun Lee for their work, Where the Wind is Born.

This year’s strong selection demonstrates the good health of New Zealand pottery, says Te Uru Director, Andrew Clifford. “Merran’s contribution reinforces the reputation of the Portage Ceramic Awards as an annual update on developments in ceramic practice. We are excited that she has introduced a new winner to enter the illustrious company of those that have achieved success in previous years.”
Established in 2001 and administered by Te Uru with support from The Trusts Community Foundation, the annual Portage Ceramic Awards are Aotearoa New Zealand’s best-known survey of contemporary ceramic activity.

The 2019 Portage Ceramic Awards winners and finalist works will be on display at Te Uru in Titirangi from 22 November 2019 - 23 February 2020.

Click here to see the Portage Ceramic award winners for 2019


Ceramics Association of New Zealand


Registered as an incorporated society in 1965 by an enthusiastic group of potters in Wellington, New Zealand, Ceramics NZ has grown to become a significant international voice in New Zealand ceramics. The affiliation of about three dozen independent pottery clubs throughout New Zealand together with a number of corporate businesses greatly increases its effective membership. We are a national, not-for-profit organisation representing the interests of practising potters and ceramicists, students of ceramics and all those interested in New Zealand ceramics. We actively support and promote quality, and we encourage and support specialist ceramics education nationally.
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