About Me

Made in Clay, Inspired by Nature


Kaye Bustin says: “I started working with clay at the age of 11, and three decades later the medium still intrigues and thrills me. I love the idea of making something out of clay that might usually be made in a different medium such as rings, brooches, gift tags, hooks and even bunting.”

Kaye has worked with clay in three countries. Firstly in England, her home country, after she had graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with an honours education degree in art, dance and physical education in 1995, she sold terracotta clay buttons with leaf impressions and wooden block prints in London galleries, and gave private classes and parties in ceramic art.

She explored ceramic art more in northern India, where she taught at an international school for six years until 2001 in the Himalayan foothills 7,000 feet above sea level.

“We used clay straight from the river, “ Kaye says, “and it needed a lot of working and cleaning up before the students could use it. Our glazes were all mixed by hand, and firing the kiln was a real event: it would put so much strain on the school’s power that the ovens in the kitchens couldn’t be used at the same time without blowing the whole circuit!”

So she had a gas kiln shipped out from England and began doing Raku firings. Raku is an outdoor glaze firing technique in which the ceramic object is removed from the kiln when it’s glowing red-hot and covered in sawdust, seaweed or water. The reaction with this and the thermal shock creates patterns and crackle effects on the surface of the vessel. The students loved Raku and so does Kaye, with the influence of the Himalayan landscape continuing to influence her work.

Now that she has immigrated to New Zealand with her husband, two children and portable kiln, her work is more powerfully influenced by nature than ever.

“The beauty of the unusual seedpods from the native plants and the shapes and textures of shells I find on the Kapiti Coast beaches near my home and studio simply awe me – and that was before I found Kiwi op shops full of pretty and tactile doilies and lace just waiting for upcycling!”


Contact Kaye to meet her in person and view works for sale at her Waikanae Beach studio on the Kapiti Coast.



Contact Kaye to meet her in person and view works for sale at her Waikanae Beach studio on the Kapiti Coast.