Steiner Ceramics. Handmade made Ceramics in New Zealand

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Steiner Ceramics History

Specialising in sculpturally designed forms using distinctive glazes and styles on handmade ceramic pottery that is not mass produced, Bob has been creating exquisite pieces of fine ceramic art for over 30 years.

From studying pottery and sculpture at Elam Art School at The University of Auckland, then living in the Hokianga.  Using the Earth,Fire,Water,Air symbols and working with D’Art Studios in Ponsonby (Auckland) working alongside ceramists Christine Harris and Rose Wallis.   An award in the international Fletcher Brownbuilt Ceramics Award, a member of the Pottery Cooperative ‘Pots of Ponsonby’ trading with a partner under the name of Eido Ceramics.  Producing slip cast and handpainted designer ceramics through to moving to a  purpose built pottery in Avondale New Lynn down the road from the old Crown Lynn site. Over the years Bob’s work has also sold under the names of Steiner Studios Limited, Steiner Ceramics, Bob Steiner Ceramics, and Blue Ponga.

Bob Steiner started potting when he was 14 years old. Weekends were spent with friends exploring the characteristics of clay and experimenting with glazes using wood ash and clay materials. Supporting his son’s interest in pottery, Bob’s father bought him his first throwing wheel for his 15th birthday.

Moving from strength to strength Bob went on to study pottery and sculpture at Elam Art School at The University of Auckland. Later Bob headed north to live in the Hokianga where he made a good living making pottery, building his own house with studio onHokianga-Home-1977 24 acres of bush clad hills and starting a family.

Work from 1974 to 1984 Bob marked with a clay stamp in the form of volcano bringing together the 4 elements- Earth,Fire,Water,Air.

Changes to the ceramic and pottery industry declined in the early 80’s and brought about a need for change.  Bob headed to Auckland. Initially working with a group of other craft artists in Brown Street’s D’Art Studios in Ponsonby (Auckland) he worked alongside ceramists Christine Harris and Rose Wallis.  Work during this period was marked with Bob’s signature.


The collective known as D’Art Studios produced the card at below.


In 1986 Bob won a merit award in the international Fletcher Brownbuilt Ceramics Award, with his famous swirl tea set, an innovative stylish design. The example in the photoSwirl set Maude S web is handpainted by Sharyn Maude.  This was followed by the Hexagonal Coffee set and later by the Swirl dinnerset.  These pieces were stamped with the signature above.

In the late 1980’s Bob joined the Pottery Cooperative ‘Pots of Ponsonby’ trading with a partner under the name of Eido Ceramics.

Bob opened his own shop in Kingsland in 1991 called Steiner Studios, producing slip cast and handpainted designerware.  He employed a gifted ceramic painter, Frana Stanich, and together they developed a range of exceptional designerware.

Over the years, Bob has dated his work with the year of production.

Employing staff allowed Bob to build his one off creations such as the double sided forms of fish and heads.

In the mid 1990’s there came a need to let the sculptural forms speak for themselves without the busy exterior designs. Bob developed a unique matt glaze with strong colour which had immediate appeal, Cuba-jugs-brightsthe strong electric cobalt blue being the outstanding favourite. For many years Bob worked from his home based studio with a first class team producing a quality range that includes some 100 shapes produced in four distinct styles.



In 2008 Bob was a finalist in the Designers Institute of New Zealand’s Best Design Awards.  Please visit Exhibitions and Commissions for more information.


Bob now works from a purpose built pottery in Avondale, retaining a boutique personality and rejecting the pressures to produce off shore. Bob creates his own inspirations, produces customised orders, sometimes follows the fashion trends and sometimes works collaboratively.