Ruby White describes herself as “just a creative person who makes food and ceramics and occasionally things from wood.”
But what she really means is that she’s an art school graduate who’s been hosting irregular pop up events in Auckland under the moniker of Miss Changy since 2014. These pop ups incorporate family recipes as well as Ruby’s take on Malaysian-Chinese cuisine (being half Malaysian-Chinese herself). But that’s not all. Ruby’s pop ups also feature her own handmade tableware from plates and bowls to chopsticks to cups to stainless steel straws. And chairs.
Most recently Ruby has been working on a series of brown and white marbled plates and bowls.
Her from-scratch mentality naturally extended to her home studio. The white walls of the light filled room make what used to be the messy end of a suburban garage feel much bigger than it is and took three months of “chipping away” and $1000 to convert (catch a glimpse of the process here).
What do you love about your studio?
I love the light. I made a point of putting in a big window, two sky lights and a glass door. It gets a bit hot when it’s sunny but I wouldn’t change a thing – except maybe a window that opened. Whoops…
It’s also just a great feeling to have a space all to yourself. Nice amount of freedom that comes with it. It’s a great place to hide away from the world. I love my little kiln too. It’s been frustrating and fun playing with it. It’s a lot easier to experiment with different techniques and temperatures when you have your own kiln to do it with. Explaining yourself can get tiring.
What do you find challenging about your studio?
Not enough shelving, but that’s an easy fix. I wasn’t sure what level of production I’d be doing so early on, but I’m running out of room fast so that’s a good indication to me. I’m going to have to invest in a larger kiln soon. The current one can’t keep up with my making.
What do you wear when you’re working in the studio and what do you like to listen to?
I wear something comfy, an old pair of gazelles and an apron. I try to keep to my shoes rule because it brings clay dust into the house. I listen to the radio while I work. Normally bFM but I also go between flava, National, and this other classical station.
Ruby’s ceramics have been featured in Cuisine magazine and are available at Widdess in Ponsonby and very soon at an online shop in the making.