Suvira McDonald is a legendary potter based in Mullumbimby, Northern NSW, whose works are a testament to the power of fire, earth, and creative ingenuity.

With over 30 years working as a visual artist in various mediums, McDonald’s forms speak to both the shifting landscapes that surround his place of making, and his prior career in choreography, theatre and dance performance.

Formidable yet fluid, clay meets glaze in a dramatic display of colour and texture, resulting in a visual archive of the hidden chemical transformations that take place behind kiln walls – where there is science, there is also great theatre. 

Instantly recognisable in surfaces formed by hand and marked by flame, McDonald uses the performance of wood firing to evoke a sense of the ritualistic in his pieces. 

His current ceramics practice is centred on vessels associated with the arts and rites of flower arrangement, dining, tea, also funerals; all this is complemented by his production of landscape interpretations formed in low relief and as free-standing sculpture and vessels.

A long-standing interest in Asian art and culture, and the interplay of practices with our Western and specifically Australian lifestyle has had a strong influence on his field of interests and his ceramic productions. This is underpinned by Suvira’s current and ongoing research; predominantly long wood firing.

His kiln, an anagama, is situated in the forest of Byron Shire NSW. Anagama translated from the Japanese means excavated kiln, implying a kiln traditionally hewn from the earth, constructed and re-buried, tunnel-like in the hillside.

The fire rushes through the kiln - firing everything in its path, layering ash, fusing glazes and causing a variety of gaseous and flame-induced firemarks on the ceramic surface. It’s a high risk approach with high value returns and its share of disappointments.

It is a revisiting of traditional approaches, drawn out partly from love of the physicality and the raw fire of the process but also for the magic of the results. He describes it as an aesthetics-driven pyromania.

The surfaces allude to landscape, geology and a ‘micro-tectonic’ visual language exclusive to woodfired ceramics; the intensity of a three-day epic firing is borne out in the surface complexity.

Suvira is extremely practised in all the languages of clay and glaze, and is also known for his thick and glossy chun ware. Each piece is like an artwork in it's own right and will become more loved the more you gaze at it, and the more they are used.


We stock a good cross section of Suvira's work, from his striking, sculptural vases and landscapes, to his sublime bowls and platters.