———-::- Public Record – Quietly beautiful -::———-

liberal eclectic is delighted to welcome Kim Ellis as a guest contributer. 
Auckland is a multicultural city that galvanizes the creation of independent stores: both Karangahape and Ponsonby Roads are known for the rich diversity of cultural and retail stores found end-to-end; some dating back to the 1970s.  As an artisan and long-standing Auckland resident, Kim brings both a discerning eye and creative mindset to our understanding of Public Record in Ponsonby. We are inspired to get online immediately to appreciate and take advantage of the plethora of handmade homewares by artisans and a gallery devoted to cross cultural exchange.


“Public Record is an arts and craft store among an interesting group of shops on Ponsonby Road, Auckland. It is flanked by an art gallery, tattoo studio, Malaysian restaurant, perfumery, café, vintage shops and a contemporary clothing store. This tiny section is possibly the most alluring stretch in the whole of Ponsonby Road.”


Shun Kumagi’s practice is centred on the layering of different materials, through complex techniques, to create vessels that quietly astound. Each piece has a distinctive surface that continually transforms as the light moves across it throughout the day. The pieces have a mysterious shimmering quality, evoking ancient ruins and lost civilisations.
Shun creates the original shape of each piece with wax. He makes the mould, fills it with slips (clay), then carefully embeds pieces of coloured glass and metal on the surface. This glass melts and crystalises within the mould in a 1000 ℃ kiln. Shun waits for a long time as each piece slowly cools. When it is ready, he slowly splits the vessel from the mould. This is a very long process that is filled with tension and uncertainty as to the outcome. Handmade in Akita, Japan


“Yuka O’Shannessy is the director of Public Record and her curatorial eye is incredibly astute. This is a retail space that feels like a gallery with the serenity of a sanctuary.” 


The philosophy of Public Record is one of timelessness.  It transcends trends and seasonality. It resists what is disposable or temporary.


Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers, Leonard Koren, Imperfect Publishing, Point Reyes, California
Public Record represents both New Zealand and International makers who create work from raw materials and use processes that are specific to their practices. We Hope that people who purchase these works will respond to both the personal narratives and skills of the makers. 


Veronique Desmet, Winter Forest (Version 1 – 4), Mixed media
Midori Uchida, Vase Size: Medium: w100 x h95mm; Large: w120 x h120mm, Hand crafted in Gifu, Japan. Midori’s work is a completely unique – one-off product.
“The works on display are crafted by master artisans, predominantly from Japan and Aotearoa New Zealand.
On the website, Yuka states that she believes in intentional living and creating a world that is refined, considered and one of quiet beauty.

Public Record has achieved this.”


We are excited about the possibilities for new understandings of traditional practices + Public Record intends to provide a place and space for cultural exchanges


Robyn Penn, Change Blindness IV or VI, 2018; Robyn Penn’s cloud series.
Stunning original piece on handmade paper. Aluminium framed with museum glass
Materials: Ink and Bleach on hand-pulped paper. Size: 200x200mm.
Handcrafted and framed in South Africa
“It is a struggle to describe the works in the store in a collective way and can only say that they have a sense of calm and purpose about them.”


Art critic Ashraf Jamal. Penn’s work invites an audience to inhabit a world, which, in truth, is fast becoming uninhabitable. Preoccupied with the crisis of climate change, her works aren’t designed to assuage our fears, but in their muted, quiet, yet unerringly uncertain manner, ask us to embrace unsettlement, to take that unsettlement to heart.

Chika Kishimoto Lindsay, Melting pot, 2019, Materials: bamboo and waxed linen cord. Size: Approx. W600 x L600 mm (bamboo sculpture), Handcrafted in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.  / Her primary engagement is in the movements of a form that occur in the vastness of nature whether it is tangible or intangible.


Lantern Holder Stand by Motomu Oyama, Material: Iron; Size: w180 x 90 x h540mm; Handcrafted in Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan. All of these works are made by hand – he is not using a mould. It has a beautiful textured surface.


Square vase – version1 or version 2, Material: Iron
Size: W80x H230mm, Handcrafted in Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan. iron to heating, bending, beating and welding to make each shape. They are completely unique to others.


“No superfluous decoration on the ceramic and metal work, but items imbued with ‘quiet beauty’ along with utility. There is a sense of balance and ‘enoughness’ to them. Nothing need be added or taken away from these objects. They are perfect in themselves, exhibiting style and substance.”


Object Vase #1, Rando Aso’s Black Carbonised pottery Everything done by hand, it has a bee wax coating at the final process. For inside it’s been applying a special effect to be water-tight resistance so you could use as vase. Rando’s work has fired in open pit fire. Black carbonised pottery isn’t the colour of clay or colour of glaze, after pit firing with low temperature 600°c~700°c in the kiln, you take out from the kiln then quickly put it into the saw-dust the object to smoke away which makes the dark black colour on the surface, beautiful natural effects. Earthenware – Doki; Approx size: W120 x H180 mm. Handcrafted in Gifu, Japan


Kintsugi Class @ Tantalus Estate, Waiheke by An Astute Assembly & Thea Ceramics / Yuka has a unique creative sensibility that is forged from growing up in Japan in an environment that celebrates artisanal mastery. Coming to Aotearoa, New Zealand …allowed Yuka to bring that aesthetic to the world of New Zealand makers and artists.
“Yuka’s light touch curatorially, is evident throughout the store, but seen too in the ikebana created with a few blooms or twigs in a vase: tacitly beautiful.”

Our ever-evolving catalogue is centred around two homes: Aotearoa, New Zealand and Japan….As well as representing artists in New Zealand we offer workshops on Japanese traditional crafts with a modern twist; so it’s easy to integrate into your life smoothly. 

Bonsai / Ikebana pruning shears / Kenzan.  Japanese Professional bonsai or Ikebana pruning shares. Made in Osaka Japan…These beautiful black shears are known for their quality and durability. Made with carbon steel, they are ideal weight for heavy duty pruning, but their ease of use makes them ideal for any number of tasks well beyond pruning bonsai.
“I felt genuine delight at being in this space and lingered far longer than planned; the objects and surroundings were just so enticing to wander amongst. Many of the ceramics are invitingly tactile thus it was difficult not to pick up every single one; especially since many of the cups and objects fit so perfectly into one’s hands.”


Raised Bowl, version 5, Wood-turned and carved from ethically sourced timber. A beautifully sculptured piece can enjoy practically and ornamentally. Size: w270 x h250 mm
Materials: Top – Magnolia (Wire Brushed, Burnished); Ball – Ebonised Heart Rimu

We like to envisage that these works will be kept as family heirlooms that are passed down through the generations.


Creative workshops such as Kintsugi, Ikebana and Japanese cuisine Omotenashi Yuka have been facilitated by the artisan: holding events in both Japan and New Zealand as a way of fostering a deeper appreciation of the craft history of each country.

Beautiful iron works by Motomu Oyama. Material: Iron & Enamel coating – Size: Large plate with rims D265 x H15mm; Medium plate with 3 feet D190 x H23mm; Small plate with 3 feet D170 x H20mm; Handcrafted in Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan.


“This shop is genuinely worth recurrent visits as new art and craft arrive and are promptly out the door again.”


Public Record, 76 Ponsonby Road, Auckland, New Zealand / Text in Italics and all images from Public Record Website. 

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