Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Maniapoto
Lives in Whangarei
After studying painting and whakairo at Northland Polytechnic, Amorangi was introduced to ceramic wood-firing by Manos Nathan – “my pyromania was ignited and has never gone out … I just forgot everything else and just wanted clay.”
Manos then invited Amorangi to a gathering of Ngā Kaihanga Uku, the national Māori clay workers collective, at Toihoukura, the Māori art school in Gisborne, followed by the Pacific Arts Festival in Palau in 2004.
Inspired by the collective energy of artists from twenty-seven Pacific nations, Amorangi resolved to pursue a full-time career as a Māori clay artist. He began to work more closely with Manos and secured a studio at The Quarry in Whangarei, the centre founded by renowned New Zealand potter, Yvonne Rust, where he continues to work today.
Amorangi is known for elegant vessel forms that feature finely carved surfaces licked with the smoke, char and iridescence of the wood-firing process. He draws from the rich legacy of Ngā Puhi whakairo forms and patterns and maintains a worldview as an artist connected to countless generations of artists around the globe through the medium of clay.