Sam Ludden is a Masterton based artist who works in a number of media from his home studio, "Dirty Fingers Pottery" in Victoria Street.
He has been dedicated to visual arts since his school days and he trained in ceramics and fine arts in Wanganui under the tuition of Ross Mitchel-Anion. He has traveled widely and worked as a potter in places such as the Czech Republic and Provence France, where he had a studio in Biot (close to those of people like Matisse, Picasso and Léger).
His work shows many of the influences absorbed in those places but much of his more recent work signposts his interest in his Wairarapa birthplace; its cultures, its landscapes, its threatened flora and fauna and its huge wider potential in the arts.
Perhaps his most easily identifiable and iconic works are his ceramic eels with their almost frighteningly lifelike yet slightly surreal appearance. However he has created a wide range of ceramic sculptures, as well as functional items, often decorated with graphic figures that delight the eye with their rhythmic, pagan dancing, their inscrutable gazing into some intriguing distance, or plants and creatures that manage to sidle alongside a kind of realism.
Sam has a huge enthusiasm for any new artistic challenge that may pop up over the mountains and hills surrounding him. However, he has an abiding conviction that the vibrancy of the art-soaked South of France, or anywhere else, can be matched by the valley he lives in so long as the local arts community work hard to help each other to improve and grow. He believes that it is through the power of numbers, producing quality work that will draw attention to the Wairarapa arts.
"Good art" is a visual language or message pushing ideas forward, provoking discussion and debate. When successful, art is powerful and it will stand fast and strong as a testament of its time. "Craft", on the other hand, is woven with the strands of tradition and history, sometimes lost, sometimes rediscovered, but always present in our lives in some form or another.
Craft strives for beauty and symmetry. It is created to enhance our lives ether through purity of function or the mystery of aesthetics." - Sam Ludden 12/03/2004
To Produce Memorable Art, Design, Sculpture & Landscapes that will Survive & Inspire Generations." - Sam Ludden 11/2006