Norfolk-born ceramic artist receives New Zealand honour

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A Norfolk-born potter has been awarded an order of merit in the recent New Zealand Queen’s birthday honours list.

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The honour is equivalent to an MBE and has been awarded for his services to ceramic art.

Richard ‘Rick’ Rudd was born in his grandparents’ Georgian house on Southtown Road and was educated at the Stradbroke and Grammar Schools.

In 1968 he undertook a foundation course at Great Yarmouth College of Art where he first experienced working with clay.

His ceramics tutor was Barbara Balls who he credits with “lighting the fire” of his lifetime passion for the substance.

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“Barbara encouraged me and gave me access to her private studio during the holidays,” he said.

She also arranged for him to visit a German potter, Mathies Schwarze, who lived near Cologne - this led to Mr Rudd working for him one summer holiday.

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He went on to complete a Diploma in Art and Design at Wolverhampton College of Art in 1972 before emigrating to New Zealand in 1973, where he has been a full-time potter since 1975.

He was president of the Auckland Studio Potters Society from 1978 to 1980 and president of the New Zealand Society of Potters from 1988 to 1991.

He has taught workshops throughout New Zealand, in Australia and Asia and has won numerous awards.

In 2014 Mr Rudd sold his home of fifteen years in the North Island town of Whanganui and bought a commercial building in the town centre.

He had established the Rick Rudd Foundation, a charitable trust, in 2013 and gave the building and his collection of over 700 ceramic works, mainly from New Zealand potters, to the foundation.

Last year, Simon Manchester, a friend and fellow collector, died. He bequeathed his entire nationally important collection of over three thousand ceramic works to Rudd’s Museum, enhancing the reputation it had already achieved.

In 2018 Rudd funded and presented the inaugural Emerging Practitioner In Clay Award of NZ$10,000.00.

After the announcement of the New Zealand honour Mr Rudd said: “It was great to phone Barbara, who still lives in Great Yarmouth, and give her the news. It was such a lovely phone call to make.”