About Little Betty
Little Betty is New Zealand artist and maker Debra Powell.

I've been working with clay now for over twenty years. Firstly, employed as a painter of fine china figurines, then, after several years of art school, as a self employed studio potter.

A while back, I returned to study and got hopelessly hooked on academia, eventually emerging back into the real world with a doctorate in crime history. Having spent those years happily immersed in the seedy underworld of nineteenth-century homicide research - coronial inquests, forensics, courtroom intrigue and executions - these hands might be expected to produce something gloomy or ever so slightly macabre. What emerges though, is usually light and understated, sometimes quirksome, and always heartfelt.
I paint and draw, plant trees, make jewellery, sculptures, and vessels of all kinds. I also make music, both with my musician partner (as The Weatherspoons) and with a mad bunch of ukulele playing, killer-frock-wearing lovelies (Sylvia’s Toaster).

I’m a shameless collector of curious and homely things . . . serving dishes made to look like food, vintage frocks, the humble nana blanket, old hats, plaster fruit, stones with holes in them. I love red shoes and big old dogs; coming home after being away for a while; the word ‘ephemera’; and small, unexpected kindnesses. 

I’m inspired by the clever folk around me: talented musicians, skillful writers, creative crafters, canny academics and people who do what they do so brilliantly well.
Someone wise told me happiness comes from doing a bit of what you love on a daily basis. I like to make things and I’m lucky enough to do that every day.

If you would like to ask a question, make a suggestion,  
or just send me a cheery hello, 
I can be contacted at