Czech-born New Zealand artist Mirek Smíšek dies at 88
Czech-born New Zealand artist Mirek Smíšek died on Sunday aged 88. Born in Czechoslovakia in 1925 Mirek Smíšek forged a successful career in New Zealand since arriving there in 1951. He was an internationally respected potter who specialized in salt-glazed stoneware and porcelain. For close to a year he dropped all his other work to make about 700 pieces for the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.