Born in Wellington, New Zealand, Zekiah Heath is a three dimensional artist who has combined a love of handcrafted objects with her technical experience in ceramics. Zekiah graduated from Unitec in 2006 with a Bachelor of Design, with her final year of study dedicated to making ceramic objects.
Primarily working with the technique of slip casting, Zekiah creates light works, vessels, vases, sculpture and one-off jewellery designs. She loves creating objects that are repetitive in form yet individual in pattern and decoration. Her objects are always planned, but at times are created from chance happenings in the slip casting process.This allows for an hollistic approach - each piece that is misshaped or too cracked becomes a new object. Every object Zekiah produces is entirely handcrafted, making each piece individual.
As Zekiah has grown as a ceramic artist, her awareness of the environment and of natural, sustainable design has become more integral in her daily practice. She is inspired to work with clay because of its close connection with the earth. It is natural, non-toxic, and not rigorously processed with chemicals. Zekiah's aim is to utilise all of her material - by developing the broken or misshapen pieces into one-off jewellery designs, she eliminates much waste.
Focussing on raw slips and their qualities, she gives each piece it's own identity through colour tinting, piercing, lighting or inscribing the surfaces. The slips are high fired to give structural integrity the left unglazed. Zekiah prefers to embrace the clay's organic finish rather than adding further layers and processes to them.
Colour and pattern is created without glazing the surface of the clay. Powder stains are added to the slip prior to firing. The tinted slips are then used to cast with. Once they have been high fired, each object is sanded and polished to give them a smooth finish. The clay ends up feeling as smooth as bone.