Winter gardening

Winter is a lovely time for gardeners. The growing season has paused, the pressure is off, the garden beds are resting, and there’s time to quietly look around and see what needs to be tidied and prepared for spring.

It’s the time of year when I cut back the dahlias and cover the beds in peastraw. I prune the lemons and limes and I fertilise the hedges with blood and bone. The hydrangeas get pruned and I cut the grape vine back from the pergola. And I’m constantly bringing firewood inside.

I’ve just planted hundreds of tulips (my dibber comes in handy) and we always get a fantastic show in September. I love being able to bring armloads of flowers into the house and the vases get filled in our stores too.

The thing about gardening is that you’re always looking forward; gardeners are always optimists.

Our best-selling bowls

We’ve been making our simple versatile bowl shapes for a long time now, but the real test comes in front of the pantry cupboard. Which bowl do you reach for when you’re ready to serve dinner?Our three most popular shapes by sales (and unscientific survey of TSP staff!) are the Pasta Bowl, the Deep Bowl and the Deep Plate.

Pasta Bowl: far and away our best seller. Useful for pasta, muesli, fruit … anything!

Deep Plate: With its flat base, and sides that come up about 4 cm, our Deep Plate is ideal for saucy dishes, steaks, or pasta. Now available in all 6 of our Modern colours.

Deep bowl: Perfect for soups, cereal, and Buddha bowls.

Having said all that, our plates and bowls are really just background. The cook’s ideas and creativity are the main event!

Revisiting old Rustic designs

I like thinking that the pottery I make is classic and timeless, but I’m never quite sure I’ve pulled it off. So when a friend told me recently that when they first saw my Rustic pottery they couldn't tell if it was new or old, I took it as a great compliment. I’ve been making our green and mustard Rustic pieces for more than twenty years now and I still enjoy refining and revisiting some of my early designs.

There was a platter with a wavy scalloped edge I used to love making – partly because of its antique feel but also because of the way the glaze pooled in the hollows like liquid glass. Delicious.I found it recently in my archive and I thought I’d have another go … so I hope you enjoy our range of new (old) Wavy Oval Dishes and Plates.


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!