Iris Close Up

ABOUT JACKIE SAUNDERS

Jackie was raised in Titahi Bay, she spent most of her adult life on the Kapiti Coast

and then moved to Christchurch a decade ago amidst the earthquakes.

Jackie has always lived near the coast and has an enduring affinity for our beautiful coastlines,

her rural home studio is in Leithfield, North Canterbury with the beach nearby.

Jackie is a largely a self-taught and experimental artist

raised by parents who made everything. 

Their home, garden, art and clothes all beautifully renovated, decorated or handmade. 

They taught her “you can do anything if you try - there is no can’t” 

Making was in Jackie’s blood.

A successful sales, marketing and management career and raising her family took priority till age 50. 

Extensive driving throughout the South Island for business, absorbing colour and eye popping scenery

Jackies’ inner creative was triggered.

Impacted by the early passing of her Father and having always said

she wanted to be an artist when she grew up,

she decided she better hurry up - why not?

Thinking she would draw or paint, as she had over the years,

she then enrolled in a community clay class where she fell in love with clay.

Not knowing why, but knowing she had to,

Jackie set about buying equipment, kilns and workspaces.  

Fully immersing herself in experimenting and learning as much as she could,

as quickly as she could.


After two years, full time creating and selling hundreds of pieces,

Jackie knew she had answered her question of “why not”,

she had not however answered the question of “why clay”

After peeling back the surface layers her answer revealed itself.

Fascinated by the metamorphic transformations of human beings,

Jackie feels a strong parallel in the creation of her artwork.

​Clay undergoes strenuous formative experiences and is exposed to very extreme situations.

It transforms, changes its very nature, ultimately revealing its character and true beauty.

​Jackie’s Fantasy Florals and Fantasy Corals emerge intuitively

and are a celebration of these precious ecosystems and their astonishing beauty. 

Her glaze choices are informed by her love of the ocean,

the stunning coastlines of Aotearoa, lush gardens and the dramatic scenery of Aotearoa.

Raku and Saggar firing are Jackie’s favourite methods

due to the spontaneous unpredictable nature and the beautiful marks made.

Manual handling of red hot pots, the pure excitement as slip cracks to fall away

and then the final reveal, all are simply irresistible to her.

​​Wall installation and display pieces explore contrast, shadow play

and exploration of negative space, inspired by the juxtaposition of light vs dark

and the duality of absence vs presence.

Visits to Jackie's home studio are welcome.