Ian Beniston



Ian Beniston is renowned for his lustrous copper red glazes and for producing decorative art pieces and sophisticated functional pottery, with a distinct oriental influence.

Ian has worked as a professional potter and ceramic artist for 30 years.

Originally from Whangamata in New Zealand, Ian’s introduction to pottery came at the age of 17 when he answered a newspaper advertisement by a local potter for ‘a strong man to wedge clay’. Preparing and wedging clay, Ian quickly developed his feel for ‘the mud’, spending hours watching his employer at the wheel.

Beginning with simple pieces, he soon realised he had both a talent and passion for pottery, showing a natural affinity with the craft.

Working over the next four years in Whangamata, he developed a deep interest in traditional oriental glazes and the work of the Japanese Master Potters. He was particularly captivated by the ancient and elusive Chinese copper red glazes, produced by meticulous and time-consuming reduction firing.

When Ian’s first solo firing resulted in near-perfect copper reds, he felt that somehow being a potter was part of his destiny.

Ian moved to Western Australia in 1986 to follow his other passion – surfing. After four months in Margaret River, Ian relocated to Perth, where he worked as the potter-in-residence at the Tresillian Art Centre and then at the co-operative Norfolk Studios in North Perth. The dream to combine his passion for surfing and pottery was realised when he returned to the South West of Western Australia, to work for a local potter.

In late 1987, Ian set up his first studio on Caves Road in Quindalup, supplying local art galleries.

In 2000 Ian became a Queen’s Exhibitor, following an invitation to present his work to Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh during their visit to Western Australia.

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