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What in the World is a Happy Hen?
Author: John Ranes October/01/05

The Frame Workshop has sold Happy Hens for a number of years and is one of only a handful of retail shops in United States that carries this New Zealand art form.

Yvonne Sutherland, creator of Happy Hens - Dunedin, New Zealand Created by artist & designer, Yvonne Sutherland, Happy Hens are made in the studio/workshop at Portobello on the beautiful Otago Peninsula, just outside of Dunedin on the South Island of New Zealand.

This is a popular route for tourists on their way to the Royal Albatross Colony and Portobello Aquarium.

Pictured on the left Yvonne Sutherland as I photographed her on a visit to her studio in 2004.

How The Frame Workshop started selling these Happy Hens began in 1996 when Sarah and I were visiting a home in Auckland, NZ and first saw a collection of Happy Hens sitting upon the windowsill in the kitchen of our guests. We were instantly taken to these colorful little creatures, so later during this same trip, we purchased our first three Happy Hens in a gift shop in Wellington.

In 1999 we contacted Yvonne and began importing these delightful chickens to the United States. We always keep a good selection at hand.

In 2004, I was able to visit the studio in New Zealand personally to see how these Happy Hens come to life.

Studio & workshop at Portobello on the beautiful Otago Peninsula
Happy Hen Studio in New Zealand
final cleaning of clay is executed before the hens are placed into the kiln for firing.
Preparing Hens for firing in the Kiln
These Happy Hen string holders have been fired and are now ready for painting.
Happy Hen String Holders after being fired
Happy Hens come in all sizes including these oversized hens! After hand painting, these Happy Hens are displayed in the studio shop. If you want to see more Happy Hens, click on any of the images above.

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