Friday, August 15, 2014


Thrilled to secure a hand-picked selection of ceramics from Christchurch talent Tatyanna Meharry, aka The Busy Finch, we caught up with Tatyanna in her converted garage in the central city to discover what goes into making her organic range of ceramic tableware, besides a whole lotta love!

The Busy Finch handcrafted China White series of bowls.

A Christchurch girl, Tatyanna’s first memory of potting was spending precious time with her Grandmother in her pottery studio. Tatyanna’s introduction to pottery was sculpting penguin families alongside her Grandmother as she worked. Following the completion of a Masters in Fine Arts in Dunedin, Tatyanna soon returned to Christchurch where she decided to reconnect with her love of clay and took up a pottery course at the local community centre, Risingholme, where she quickly increased her tuition from one to two classes a week.

When many of the tutors moved away from Christchurch after the quakes Tatyanna found herself stepping up to the wheel as a teacher instead of a student. “I had tutored at the Dunedin School of Art and just seemed to fall naturally into leading the classes.” 

Sharing her skills with others is a rewarding experience, as it is to provide a kind of refuge from the stresses of daily life in in a post-quake city. We have a lot of fun slapping, smacking and pounding clay. It can be an enormously helpful outlet for relieving stress! “Teaching also constantly allows me to look at clay with a fresh pair of eyes and helps me reassess how I interact with it.”

The Busy Finch handcrafted 300 Series t-cups and jugs.

Alongside teaching pottery Tatyanna spends as much time as she can in her makeshift home studio crafting beautiful organic tableware and large scale porcelain sculptures for art exhibitions. Keen to learn more about the process involved in creating her works of functional, everyday items, Tatyanna describes the process.

“I make two types of pots.  One is cast in a mould using bone china clay from an originaly thrown pot.  This gives a regular and wafer thin pot that is exceptionaly white and magical to decorate.  The other way is throwing 300gm of clay on the pottery wheel into a choice of three different shapes; a vessel, bowl or jug.  The bowls sometimes have handles attached and then they become tea cups!”

Tatyanna Meharry, aka The Busy Finch, in her inner city Christchurch pottery studio.

“One of the things I am mindful of as a maker is how much waste I make with the resources that I use.  So by limiting the weight, size and shape of my pots I create very little waste, and the little waste created is then recycled.  The 300gm pots are dipped into the recycled bone china from the cast pots and then glazed.  The “Rock” jewellery cellections are created from the recycled throwing clay so nothing goes to waste. As I tell my students, the clay is millions of years in the making, so it’s important not to waste it.”

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