Penelope Duke is a New Zealand born ceramicist based in the extraordinary Dandenong Ranges on the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia. Using stoneware clays and porcelain with food safe glazes, Penelope creates functional ceramic pieces intended to be useful as well as beautiful.
It was the search for stillness within a busy world that lead Penelope to ceramics and the potter’s wheel, and that now reflects heavily in the simple, quiet forms and muted colours of her work. Shadows, light and the bold art deco architecture of the maker’s New Zealand upbringing also play a big part in influencing the designs. Through the use of positive and negative space the pieces are created to either be linked together in groups, or to stand alone.
Each body of work is designed around functionality, usability and simple beauty, and are to be used daily within the home.
“I wanted to concentrate on practicing restraint for this collection, and on creating pieces that are as honest as I could make them. I did this by cutting away anything complicated and unnecessary so that the focus could be on the clean lines and simple forms. By keeping the glazing understated it allows the space between and around the vases to become just as interesting as the pieces themselves. These vases needed to be able to support everything from the most extravagant bunch of colourful foliage to the most minimalistic ikebana display, without competing for the attention of the viewer’s eye, but while still being able to hold their space as beautiful and dignified pieces in their own right”.