Vanua Clay Pottery
Vanua Clay Fiji is run by husband-and-wife team Taito and Lavenia, who bring their designs to life using the medium of pottery. This turtle (Vonu) wall hanging is inspired by one of the many turtles that Tai has seen whilst spearfishing in the tropical waters of his home.
The turtle wall hanging can be mounted on a wall using a nail or string, attached through the custom-made hole on the turtle’s right side. This piece is a lovely reminder of the wonderful marine life that can be seen in abundance in Fiji’s waters.
Tai is from Matuku island in the Lau Group of Fiji, a remote group right on the eastern edge. There are no schools on the island, so everyone moves to Viti Levu for education. There are many trips back to the village in Lau, where Tai spends most of his time in the water, freediving and catching fish for his family.
Each piece of this bracelet is individually created, rolled or flattened, one at a time. The pieces are baked in the kiln at over 1000 degrees Celsius for 8-10 hours, then left to cool for a day or two. Once cooled, the clay pieces are varnished and assembled using an elastic string, which means that one size will fit everyone.
There are no chemicals used in the clay, just water mixed in with the clay which is sourced from thre places in Fiji. Black clay from Wailoku in Suva, red clay from Momi in Sigatoka and white clay from Nabou Pine Forest just past Nadi.
The three types of clay are used to create a superior clay which is hard and resistant to wear and tear. You can be sure that your clay charm bracelet, made out of 3 kinds of clay from Fiji, will last and look beautiful.
This tea-light candle holder was inspired by Tai of Vanua Clay’s many freediving trips in Lau, Fiji.
This fish is called the Cumu, found close to the coral reef. The Cumu has a very strong head; when its mouth opens the whole body swells.
The Cumu was chosen for the tea-light holder because of it’s shape, which allows a tea-light candle to be placed inside its mouth.
The tea light holder creates a stunning feature for any room; a piece of Fijian marine life to brighten up your home!
This soap holder is based on the purple frangipani which is shaped like a star. It’s slightly smaller than the other soap holders, giving it a more elegant look and feel, like the flower.
The drainage hole in the centre means it’s ideal for keeping your soap dry and looking beautiful.
The designs on this fish wall hanging are based on the masi/tapa design (more commonly referred to as Masi in Fiji). Because Tai is from the Lau group of islands, they call the design Tapa, a slight regional difference in name. Masi/tapa is the paper made from the inner bark of the paper mulberry tree. This is a standard masi design for Fijian printing.
Tapa/masi cloth designs are traditionally found in wall hangings, but Tai said 'why not incorporate them into our pottery?'. This gives the Vanua Clay pieces a unique edge; each piece is a culmination of the diverse creativity and beauty seen around Fiji by Tai and Lavenia.
Another piece with masi design, the squares around the 'Bula Fiji' are taken from a masi print.
The turtle represents the beautiful turtles of the Lau group which Tai has swum with on his many freediving trips. This beautiful little turtle curves upwards, making it ideal as a dish to hold just about anything – keys, jewellery, small trinkets. Alternatively it can be used as a soap dish.
It’s a cute reminder of Fiji, sure to brighten up whichever spot you place it in. Made from clay from Fiji, a unique piece of creativity from the Fiji Islands.
A great reminder of the tropical fish that can be seen swimming along in Fiji’s pristine waters. This simple yet elegant fish wall hanging can be mounted on the wall through the hole at the top, either by putting a nail through it or using string.
A lovely momento of a snorkelling trip in Fiji, or in Tai’s case, freedriving trips in his native Lau waters. This piece is bound to bring a smile to your face and remind you of the sunshine waters of Fiji.
This time Tai’s freediving trips inspired a fish soap holder. Simple and unmistakeably fishy, this soap holder features 3 draining holes to keep your favourite soap dry.
A fun piece bound to brighten up any bathroom!
The Hibiscus is a big, red flower that grows everywhere in Fiji. It has large petals which make it ideal to hold soaps of all sizes, with a drainage hole in the centre of the flower.
This soap dish would particularly suit those who make their own soaps or prefer soaps with more unique designs, due to its larger size.
Hibiscus is also a festival in Fiji which first started in 1956. The Hibiscus Festival is held every August in Suva, with a beauty pageant and crowning of the ‘Hibiscus Queen’.
This design is typical in the Pacific, with symmetrical shapes starting from a triangle. The design is similar in style to those seen in Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Solomon islands; they are all Melanesian islands. Typically a Fijian design starts with a triangle and the rest of the design flows from there. Simple, not overly-designed, but uniquely Melanesian.
Based on the Hibiscus flower, this soap holder features love hearts on the petals. There is a drainage hole in the centre of the flower, allowing your favourite soap to be kept dry. Made in Fiji with love!
Another turtle?! Yes, but this one features a Hibiscus flower in the middle. What’s more it can be used to hold an incense stick as there is a small hole in the centre of the Hibiscus flower.
Either way, it’s a lovely turtle design (or vonu if you want to call it by its Fijian name), that will look wonderful however you use it. A bit of sunshine from Fiji!
Like the Melanesian design, this design started off with a triangle but then evolved. Notice how the design is always symmetrical. It’s based on the tapa/masi print found in Fijian wall hangings. A modern take on a traditional design - an instant reminder of Fiji.
There are three draining holes that will ensure your soap is kept dry between uses – no more gloopy mess!
This cute turtle features a flower imprint. Designed with a dual purpose – to hold trinkets such as jewellery, or as a soap holder.
This little dish has a unique personality, the turtle’s arms/legs give it a unique touch. A lovely piece to bring a smile to your face and remind you of Fiji!