Dress your table for Christmas

Christmas is when I make a bit more effort with the dining table. Most of the year it’s pretty casual here at home, but on Christmas Day the linen tablecloth comes out.

 One of the things I love about linen is that it’s dressy and casual at the same time, and the more wrinkles there are (within reason) the better it looks!

 Our French linen tablecloths come from Canéjan, near Bordeaux, and are available in 5 beautiful colours - Mustard, Celadon, White, Natural and Granite. We have matching napkins in all 5 colours too.

 With the weather warming up and Summer on the horizon let the Tony Sly elves help with your Christmas preparations!

Spring update

When our annual Seconds Sale is in full swing here at the wharf the whole studio is full of visitors and the place feels like a party. It’s busy and fun but there’s no room for me or my wheel … so I get kicked out, and my Labour Weekend tradition is now to tidy up the garden in preparation for summer. 

The tulips have almost finished now, and while it’s always sad to see the last petals drop I’m looking forward to seeing the bed of double sunflowers come up from seed that’s just arrived from Egmont Seeds in Taranaki. I’ll photograph them if they come up but I think they might need our large Hungarian glass vases ... back in stock soon.The tulips got a bit blown around this year. The ones that made it through the Raglan wind looked beautiful in our hand-thrown vase shapes. These are one of my favourite shapes to make and I’ve just finished a fresh batch in all of our colours. Come by for a look!


I moved to Raglan from Hamilton about twenty years ago. I look out at the harbour every day from my potter’s wheel and I pinch myself because this place so beautiful.I used to come here often -  because of the relaxed vibe and I’ve always loved walking the beach - so in the end it just felt obvious to base the studio in this lovely place. 

There’s something about the way the natural environment nurtures you here. It’s very grounding and the pots I make have been influenced by that: very simple and straightforward. The colours come from the landscape and the sea … blues and greens and chalky whites … and one of our most popular colours is Aqua. It instantly cheers up any breakfast table and we’ve found it sits especially happily with our pressed glass and our celadon-coloured French linen.

Pottery through fresh eyes

My philosophy with making has always been to create the things I want to use myself, so it seemed obvious to do a photoshoot here at home and show the pottery being used.

My talented friend Tam West came to stay for a few days and it was fascinating watching her work. The weather was beautiful so we could use the garden as well as the house, we were lucky to be able to catch the last of the dahlias, and I loved having her fresh eye on the plates and platters I know so well.

One of the things we wanted to do was present some of the ways that various platters and plates can be used…when I’m making a salad for instance I often like using a platter rather than a bowl. And when there’s a photographer breathing down your neck it’s amazing how fast you can pull one together with lettuce (from a bag) and red onion and fennel from the garden!