With a piece of clay spinning on a pottery wheel, Wilf Wright lent forward to handle the natural soil.
Slowly but surely, after deft touches and lots of concentration, the clay transformed into something extra special.
Countless pots, vases, cups, glazed and fired in a kiln, would be made by the master potter respected and admired throughout the world.
Creating exquisite pottery would be the defining feature of Wilf's long and satisfying life.
Wilf passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday last week aged 89.
As a mark of honour, his body will lay in state at Whakarongotai Marae, Waikanae, tomorrow, before his funeral on Monday at St Andrew's church, Reikorangi, at 2pm.
Wilfred (Wilf) James Wright was born in Christchurch on May 4, 1931, the second child for Gordon and Myrtle Wright.
He wasn't expected to live as he got pneumonia twice as a baby.
He would miss a number of school days because of asthma.
After World War II the family relocated to Wellington where Wilf, who had a keen interest in entomology, attended Scots College.
It was while working at the family's shop, Stockton's, in central Wellington, that Wilf became passionate about pottery.
The shop imported pottery from overseas, especially Europe, which attracted a number of New Zealand's pioneering potters.
Wilf was particularly captivated with pottery by European potters Hans Koper and Lucie Rie who were living in London.
He attended evening classes where Doreen Blumhardt taught him the various skills to make pottery.
Surrounding himself with the pottery talents of Roy Cowan, Juliet Peter, Helen Mason, Barry Brickell and Mirek Smisek, Wilf's pottery skills blossomed.
Keen to live in the countryside, and perhaps establish a place to create pottery, Wilf drove to Waikanae and with a stroke of luck found a 4.8h slice of paradise in Ngatiawa Rd, Reikorangi, which his parents would buy in 1956.
In about 1961 Wilf met Jan Saul, who was working in a coffee shop in the capital.
The pair hit it off and would marry on January 12, 1963, in St Andrew's church, a short walk from their forever home.
It was a joyous occasion topped off with a mouth-watering hāngī.
Together the couple would forge a successful professional career creating pottery in Reikorangi.
They would supply various shops with their pottery and attend various lifestyle shows but loved living and working at home as well as connecting with people of all ages.
It was a happy time creating pottery, hosting various visitors including dignitaries nationally and internationally, and raising their two adopted children, Adrian and Samantha.
Wilf loved the environment and planted numerous trees around the property.
The property was also a haven for a number of animals who were guaranteed a home for life.
After the stock market crash in 1987 the couple realised people didn't have the same disposable income to buy pots, and with cheap pottery arriving from overseas, they introduced a popular cafe which they operated until last year.
A highlight was in 2013 when the couple had a pottery exhibition in Mahara Gallery, Waikanae.
A sympathy card summed up Wilf as "a dignified and remarkable man, kind and welcoming, engaging and thoughtful, with a quick wit".
Jan said she would miss her husband a lot but would cherish the many years spent together.
"We had wonderful times together."