Auckland based ceramicist Peter Collis has worked with clay nearly all of his life. The main focus of his work is the exploration of shape and surface. He favours pure form vessels, which he treats in a wide range of methods- crackle glazes, textured slips and rich colours. Each treatment calls for a different process and set of skills; his fluency in such a range of techniques is a credit to his over 40 years at the pottery wheel.
Collis finds inspiration from his local context- living on the Waitemata Harbour in Auckland, New Zealand; he has one of the most stunning locations at his doorstep. Travel abroad is also crucial to his idea development process; he enjoys being exposed to cultures with rich histories in ceramics- Japan being one example.
Beyond the creation of sophisticated gallery style ceramics, Collis has become known for creating crafted serveware for New Zealand’s top restaurants. SidArt and The Grove are two well-known restaurants who have commissioned bespoke ceramic sets to present their culinary creations on.
Peter Collis has exhibited extensively locally and internationally since 1978, in more than 200 group shows and 50 solo shows in Asia, Australasia, North America and Europe. He has experience as a lecturer and demonstrator on the subject of ceramics throughout New Zealand, Japan and Singapore. Collis is represented in many public and private collections in New Zealand and overseas. His ceramics have been presented as gifts by the New Zealand Government to Nelson Mandela in, 1998; to Taiwan Mayors by the North Shore City in 1990 and also to the Mayor of British Columbia in 1990.
"I love the magical transformation that I can bring about from raw clay to sophisticated object. The ability to physically change something to that degree, with clay, glaze and fire."- Peter Collis