Based in her country studio in the Waikato, full time clay artist Willemein Jennings has been producing a range of decor and fine art works for over 35 years. Jennings finds her inspiration in the intersection between art and design. Her ceramics have simplicity of form and function, but also incorporate the spontaneous gesture and lively reactions that can occur in the throwing and glazing process.
Jennings was born on the tropical island of Curacao in the Caribbean. It was during her youth in the Caribbean that she had encounters with clay as an art material. As the artist describes “My earliest memories of dabbling with forms was as a child on my island of origin, Curacao, in the mud resulting from seasonal rains.”
After immigrating to NZ with her parents, Jennings continued to find clay to be an exciting medium. The pottery scene in New Zealand at that time was dynamic and Jennings wanted to work alongside other artists and develop a body of work. Jennings self-taught the techniques that would become integral to her work and has exhibited steadily in both design and gallery spaces across New Zealand.
Recent developments in Jenning’s work have seen the inclusion of mixed media painting applied to the surface of the clay after firing. The clay has become like a canvas on which she can apply experimental designs and textures.
“The process of making is always a living process for me. Part control, part art, part chemistry, and a journey to enjoy.” - Willemein Jennings