In 1980 Chris Lewis began a pottery night classes in Reefton. His pottery tutor was the late Pieter Bolten, an accomplished potter and sculptor. Chris found he was completely at home with clay and it’s processes, and potting became a compelling passion.
He began firing in an updraft wood-fired brick kiln built at the bottom of the garden. This was replaced by a catenary arched down draft wood fired kiln. Next was a potter’s wheel made of washing machine parts. Over the years he built a more sophisticated down-draft wood fired kiln which he still has today.
His plans for this year are to specialise rather than turn out large volumes of work to lots of outlets. All his pottery is made on the wheel, and is fired in electric, gas and wood fired kilns. Recently he has been experimenting with combining clay and the screen printing process, printing ceramic clay slip pigments onto wet clay before forming. This has been an exciting breakthrough.
Chris lives in Blacks Point Reefton and sells his work in the local gallery, and at Atkins Gallery in Nelson.