Meet the newest Sabenette: Yon Kavvas of Claybird Ceramics

You’ll spot her wares on bedside tables, adorning mantelpieces, housing bunches of fresh blossoms, and, if you’re a lucky lucky thing, taking your Christmas spread to a whole new level of chic this festive season.

Meet Yon Kavvas, the talented creative behind cult ceramics brand, Claybird Ceramics. Not only this, but Yon is the latest in a string of notable Kiwi women recruited to the #Sabenettes, where female fans of much-loved Saben’s leather commodities are invited to share their success stories.

You see, Claybird Ceramics and Saben share a lot in common. A keen eye for the fashionable, a penchant for perfection, and a readiness and perseverance that comes with hand-crafting each and every inimitable piece.

Styled in Saben’s Fifi, boasting perforated detailing from their High Summer Collection, Yon’s success story reads much like that of any mum – a total juggling act.

Between raising her three children, running a business, and hand-crafting every piece to come out of her Takapuna-based studio, to say Yon is busy would be an understatement.

“I have to be very organised with my planning, otherwise the wheels fall off. This has happened a few times, and we do learn from these mistakes very quickly!”

Organisation is key to Yon’s creative process, which often blossoms from the places she’s visited. “Sometimes I will notice something about a place and start drawing. Drawings turn into doodles which turn into more elaborate doodles. Once I have a good direction I will start to break it down and simplify it again and again,” she says.

Next comes painting these designs onto greenware (raw or dry clay for the unfamiliar), and fire those she’s happy with. “Ceramics is a labour of love – literally,” Yon explains.

Fun fact: every individual piece from Claybird Ceramics is handled up to 15 times before it’s finished and ready for sale. Now that’s what we call patience.

Naturally, this means there’s always plenty for Yon to do. Between keeping up with current production demands, to crafting bespoke pieces, juggling deadlines is part and parcel of Yon’s role.

Thankfully, it’s not all deadlines and dirty work, with the mum-of-three noting her endless supply of gifts as one of the massive perks of the job.

And after a particularly busy day? A night on the couch with popcorn and beer is just the ticket to unwind.

When it comes to fashion, Yon notes her love of free and easy styling, relaxed pieces with a nuance of cool akin to Twenty Seven Names. But what about accessories? You won’t find this #Sabenette wearing a Mary Poppins-esque bag, rather opting for a sleek, cross-body style.

Extending the same level of creativity to her wardrobe choices, Yon loves to change out her handbags, depending on her mood or the occasion.

While she’s already obsessing over her favourite Saben clutch, the Gita Croc and Baby Frankie are firm favourites on Yon’s Christmas wish-list for this year.

“I’m a texture girl so anything that has a bit of texture or even layers of it is what I really love!” Yon exclaims.



Flat White or Long Black? Flat White

Blue cheese or Brie cheese? Blue Cheese

Mojito or Dark & Stormy? Mojito

Carry-all or Cross-Body? Cross-Body

Brainy men or brawny men? Brainy men!


Claybird Ceramics are available in selected NZ retailers, at markets or online.

 Head here for more.