Zak grew up on the land surrounded by nature. Many days were spent playing on the clay banks of the dam on his family property in South Gippsland. Zak remembers his father’s connection and concern with the environment and their joint efforts to minimise their impact on their local environment. 24 years on Zak continues his father’s tradition with his studio and home running entirely on renewable energies and his local collection of materials for his craft.
Around thirty years ago Australia’s ceramic industry took a tumble as Australian production shifted to mass produced wares from abroad which quickly began to dominate the market. A few Australian professional studio potters remained, though. Of these remaining potters a few have offered to pass on their craft, influencing Zak’s style, techniques and obsession with wood firing his work. Shoji Hamada (Japan) and Jack Troy (America) are notable inspirations, however, often Zak’s contemporaries share valuable experiences and findings that influence his pieces and work.
There is still a market for well-made ceramic tableware. Although many consumers are drawn to the allure of cheaper tableware manufactured overseas, some still remain loyal to the idea of true quality, uniqueness and craftsmanship. Recently, consumers are turning to a new idea called ‘The Slow Movement’. The Slow Movement celebrates all products, foods and fashion that are made by hand, high quality, and produced by local craftspeople. Zak employs some of the philosophies behind the slow movement in his lifestyle. He endeavors to enjoy a simplistic happy lifestyle and to be present in the moment to enjoy time with friends and family. His ceramics are produced by hand in his studio and each piece is unique and should be used to enhance the everyday rituals of eating, drinking and spending time with friends around the table.