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Artist Spotlight: Nic Auton

Name, age, occupation, location?
Nic Auton, Age 56. Potter, artist sculptor, working out of purpose built studio at Curl Curl on Sydney’s northern beaches. (Just did a 6 week stint as an artist in residence in Vallauris, Fance).

What’s your story?
Began making and selling things at an early age to enable me to follow my passion of surfing. Started making surfboards and Flex Deck skateboards at age 13. Made leather work belts, bags and stuff to fund surfing holidays while young. Fixed boats, trucks, racing cars etc with fibreglass and generally did anything handy or artistic.

Trained as an art and craft primary school teacher and taught locally at Cromer P.S. and Harbord P.S. Learnt the basics of pottery/ceramics while firing pots for a guy while I was teaching kids .

Quit teaching in 1989 to become a professional potter/artist.

I make a wide and varied range of items with a slant towards surfing but really do all types of pottery.

My work is now in over 110 countries through just normal people taking it overseas to friends.

When are you most inspired?
Always inspired! Often have to slow myself down to focus on the task at hand.

What is your philosophy on life?
Philosophy on life…. The Beatles said it all “teach your children well and they’ll become your brothers”. Have a good time!

How did you start out in ceramics?
Started in ceramics/pottery totally by accident while teaching primary school and found I really enjoyed it. Was encouraged by a few very talented people.

Other creative outlets?
Other creative outlets: I enjoy making just about anything – design, architecture and building.

Favourite music?
I like the old surfing music, big fan of Morning of the Earth, Bowie and more mellow music like jazz and the blues.

What is your dream project & what are your next steps?
Dream project: Most of my life has revolved around funding my next project so I guess just being comfortable enough to do some seriously large work. Main problem is trying to get an income while working on projects as they don’t always work. (Maybe also some more surf orientated work).

How can people support you?
Come and check out my next show on the last 2 weekends in November (22nd – 23rd  and 29th and 30th  November)  in my studio and garden. This is about my 32nd annual one. Don’t really tend to advertise, just flyers, email, word of mouth and just started Instagram and Facebook. Most people think a potter just makes cups and bowls… definitely not true in my case!!!

Skate & Create

 Ocean Formation  by Russell Ord
In his text, Richard Kenvin looks at the craft and design of surfboards from a historical and cultural perspective. He views board design as an exemplary model of mingei, or art of the people, and the craft philosophy of Soetsu Yanagi. Yanagi believed that a design’s true beauty and purpose are revealed when it is put to its intended use. In its purest form, the craft of board building, along with the act of surfing itself, exemplifies mingei. Surf Craft pays particular attention to Bob Simmons’s boards, which are striking examples of this kind of functional design, mirroring the work of postwar modern California designers.

Jet Powered Surfboards

Luke Shadbolt has taken a snap or two in his time

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