about alison holmans

I was inspired to wheel thrown pottery when I first went to Palmerston North Teachers College in New Zealand. The Pottery Department was led by the renowned New Zealand potter Stan Jenkins.

That was nearly 40 years ago! In anticipation of my retirement ideas were storing up. Now 4 years on,  I am rarely out of my studio and am once again exploring the medium of clay and bringing to fruition the many ideas that have come to me over the years and new ones as well. 

My studio is in the back garden in 'The Chicken Run', where I produce an eclectic mix of Stoneware both wheel-thrown and hand-built work. The chooks are an inspiration and take a keen interest in everything that is going on eagerly wandering into the studio and reluctantly leaving as they are shooed out. They are often subjects of my pottery.  I work predominantly with stoneware clay as it is strong and will take the heat of the oven and the extreme weather outside. I love throwing and enjoy producing ware that is both functional and aesthetic.  Experimenting is with glazes is fun and sometimes surprising.


I love following my imagination with hand-built work. Garden features , include windchimes, animals balanced on stones and bird baths. I have thoroughly enjoyed exploring hand built bowls made of coils, dots and the imprint of leaves, producing work that is practical, beautiful and tactlie. I enjoy building forms from coils and dots and making forms that can be used in the garden or in the home. . As these take some time to produce each develops uniquely. The glass and glazes are the final touch that brings the work to life.

I also make quirky animals that often feature in my thrown and hand-built work. These come alive and pose for me as I make them, so each is unique. Hares are a favourite and I have been asked to produce sporty hares,artist hares, a Jazz band, hiker hares with knapsacks and doctor hares with stethoscopes. Personalising pieces is part of the fun and can make you smile. Stoneware can take very high and very low temperatures and thus can work in the home and garden.

Most recently I have been producing more realistic birds and animals using raw clay and oxides  and glazes producing  a clean and more stylised effect.


I have fired Raku and love the organic nature of this pottery. Raku is so instantaneous and is pure chemistry in action as the glaze firing can be seen in front of your eyes. I try to bring to life the native New Zealand bush and creatures that are so familiar to me. Most animal and bird forms are enhanced by the crackle and reduction glazes and blackened rawness of the Raku firing. 

I have produced commissioned work, individualised and personalised and am open to challenges.

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