Mud to magic

Felicity Donaldson

The clever artist behind ceramic company Wundaire tells us how her successful business started off with YouTube clips and simple repetition.

Wundaire started at a pottery course in Auckland, when Felicity Donaldson wanted to brighten up her inner city apartment with some house plants, but couldn’t find any pots she liked. Lucky for us she persisted, and now her ceramicist skills are much sought after by fans throughout the country.

Where did you learn your ceramicist skills?

I did a course at Auckland Studio Potters in 2014 and really enjoyed it, so I installed a work bench in my K Rd apartment and started making pieces day and night. I watched YouTube videos, got books from the library and, of course, there was also a lot of repetition with what I was making. Ceramics teaches you patience and how to cope well with failure, though each piece that doesn't work out has been an opportunity to learn.

What's the best part about being a goods maker in Wellington (Felicity's new home)?

The community of self-employed makers, particularly women is amazing! It's very generous and though all our fields are different, everyone is extremely supportive. I also like being able to walk from my home to my studio or to town through some of the most beautiful native bush with great harbour and ocean views.

What tunes are usually playing in your studio?

I listen to music when it's sunny usually, and what I listen to is totally dependent on my mood or what task I'm doing. I love Nadia Reid, Blood Orange and Nick Cave, but mainly I listen to podcasts and talking books. A lot of my work is very repetitive and doesn't require too much brain power so I like listening to things that make me think.

What’s your favourite thing you’ve created?

The collaboration I did with Kowtow in 2016 was one of my favourites. They are a company whose values I really admire and those pieces started off a whole new style for me.