Finn Ferrier

12/2020 - 02/2021

Finn Ferrier: Soft Garniture

Te Uru Contemporary Art Gallery

Titirangi, Auckland      
Finn Ferrier has always been toiling with rope. Lately, he has been creating vessels, or, ropeware objects in conversation with the history and his tacit knowledge of craft. The new and recent works on display in Ferrier’s new exhibition Soft Garniture use materiality to reveal the tension between the maker and the nature of the object. Informed by ceramics, Ferrier's sculptures explore the qualities and limitations of working with rope.

Exhibition review: 
John Hurrell for EyeContact

Te Uru Exhibition text:

Finn Ferrier Soft Garniture
December 2020 - February 2021

Finn Ferrier has always loved rope, both as an object and a material, and how rope speaks the language of potential. Made from fibres, friction and tension; rope, twine and thread are usually only thought about for their practical applications.

These vessels came about when Ferrier started exploring nautical knotwork. He reimagined the decorative pursuits of sailors and created these objects as a logical progression of decorative knotwork. The forms on display come from a merging of traditional ceramic forms with the pliability of rope.

More recently Ferrier has been researching the history of woven vessels. Archaeological evidence suggests that ropework, in the form of basket making, has always been in close association with ceramics. In ancient times fresh clay was used to line baskets to make them into water-tight vessels. It is argued that coiled pottery gets its form from coiled baskets.

In this exhibition, Ferrier has treated his ropeware vessels as a garniture – a collection of decorative objects displayed together on a shelf.

Garnitures are often about assembling ornate pieces that represent various occasions or exchanges, and Ferrier’s pieces are no different. Within this display, you’ll see references to paintings, architecture, craft histories, the human body and the landscape.

Ferrier’s forms reference ceramic vessels, but take a departure into their own direction allowing the materiality of the rope to inform the final outcomes. They are re-shapable, reversible, and humble in their simplicity of form. Ferrier negotiates gravity and symmetry as he builds each vessel knot by knot.“

(Exhibition text by Chloe Geoghegan / Finn Ferrier)

Finn Ferrier

(b.1981) lives in Auckland New Zealand. Ferrier has been exhibiting as an artist since 2002. His practice is focused on the object, story telling, materiality and place.

Ferrier’s Wharfware series began in 2009 as an excercise in exploring the materiality of rope.

This website contains a partial archive of my rope-work, representing one part of my practice.


Recent Events/ Exhibitions


Dowse Museum: acquisition of ‘Covid Cup’ for their collection.

NZ Maritime Museum, acquisition of a body of work for their collection (2022)

New Zealand Maritime Museum, Edmonston Gallery temporary exhibition (2022) 

Objectspace: Weekly Objects. Series of editioned garlands.

Soft Landing, Page Galleries, Wellington (02-2022)

Finders, Sarjeant Gallery, Whanganui (12-2021 - 05-2022)


Finn Ferrier: Ockham Lecture Series, Objectspace, Auckland

Leading Lights, Masterworks Gallery, Auckland.

Meet The Maker: Finn Ferrier. NZ House & Garden Magazine (April 2021)

Changing Threads 2021 Awards, Arts Council Nelson.
Award Finalist


Finn Ferrier: Soft Garniture. Te Uru Art Gallery, Auckland (2020-2021)

A Few Too Many Hangups, 
The Tuesday Club, Auckland


The Nineteen Gallery: Relocating Frances Hodgkins. Auckland Art Gallery (2019)


These rope vessels were originally constructed with idea that they could be made at sea by a sailor, passing time by creating decorative objects for their surrounding. These vessels are the logical progression from the practice of decorative knots.

More recently I have been thinking about my rope works like ceramics. Instead of working with the materiality of clay to express form, I work with rope and the inherent properties of this material. I do not use any chemical bonds. Friction, tension and gravity determine the shapes, along with personal experience and tacit understanding.  

These vessels are made in one direction with one piece of rope, with exception to handles, which are applied afterwards.

The conception of this rope-work series originally came about as an exploration of the ‘critique of preciousness’ a central theme in contemporary jewellery where it is the concept and making that determines the value of the object over a material value.

These vessels are intended to reflect a simple and elegant use of rope and rhythmic forms that allude to the processes of making and cyclical time.

++ See Ockham Lecure Series page for a talk on my practice ++

Photography: Sam Hartnett / Finn Ferrier


All works copyright
Finn Ferrier, 2022