Laurie Steer is a fulltime potter specialising in wood-fired ceramics, based in Mount Maunganui. He trained under the late Barry Brickell, the creator of the Driving Creek Railway and Potteries in Coromandel and one of New Zealand’s most celebrated ceramic artists. Steer worked with Brickell over a period of 15 years and was likely one of the last apprentices Brickell took on before his death in 2016.
Steer’s work questions and experiments with the received tenets of ceramics production, while maintaining strong links to the ancient traditions of pottery. His vessels often sprout strange protuberances or spikes, assuming fantastical forms that operate in the area between fine art and ceramics. Like Brickell, he places emphasis on the importance of place in ceramics production, sourcing his own local clays. Steer’s works have been exhibited in Auckland and Wellington, and he has also produced domestic wares for sale.
Steer studied at the Waikato Institute of Technology and received scholarships to the Sydney College of Fine Arts, Melbourne Institute of Technology and Auckland University of Technology, where he completed a Masters of Art and Design. Steer has previously been a finalist in Wallace Art Awards several years in a row, and is on the council of Ceramics NZ as well as being a trustee of the Driving Creek Railway, Arts and Conservation Trust.