A good pot needs to be experienced and judged by much more than appearance, according to Ross Mitchell-Anyon. It doesn't need to be flamboyant or a display item to be an integral part of life.
When he began working with clay at teachers' training college Mitchell-Anyon wanted to make practical pieces with heart and function. In 1970's New Zealand education in clay was in the Hamada-Leach tradition which looked to Japanese culture, but Mitchell-Anyon was also inspired by English potter Michael Cardew, who wrote Pioneer Pottery. Inspiration also came from New Zealand potters Len Castle and Barry Brickell.
Mitchell-Anyon makes objects with love, care and integrity. His process begins with digging clay from Pahiatua. He values collecting his materials - he becomes more attached to it, and consequently more respectful of it, recycling rather than wasting. He works minimally with glazes, and he enjoys the process where clay and glaze become one - become part of the body. He uses clear or shino glazes on stoneware or earthenware clay, and the pieces are subjected to wood firing and salt in the kiln.
Mitchell-Anyon's work takes the form of domestic ware. Mitchell-Anyon believes that many potters are preoccupied with wanting to fit into a fine arts formula, and his view is that art is made when makers engage with materials and forms with passion.
Repetition is important in Mitchell-Anyon's work. There is pleasure in making and seeing the production process occur. In his process, he lets the forms evolve and mutate rather than looking to impose 'quality control'. Over the years a number of his works have become larger, and some of his outsized teapots and jugs have outgrown their function, merely making reference to it.