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Imerys National Tableware Exhibition

by Frederika Ernsten & Jim Pollard - 30/Jun/2016
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Anett Pilz
It’s always exciting to be involved with organising a pottery exhibition and this year’s Tableware exhibition in Christchurch was a rewarding experiencing for all of us involved in organising and running it after such a long earthquake gap.. It was great to be hosting an exhibition once again that catered especially for those members who value good craftsmanship in the production of functional ware.    

Although the idea of running a national exhibition may seem daunting, the process is really no different from organising a club exhibition in a local gallery, save perhaps for having to return unselected/unsold work by courier. The tasks are the same: booking a gallery, choosing a selector, advertising for submissions, inviting guests to an opening, receiving work, selection, transferring to the gallery, setting up the exhibition, minding it, selling work, collection of sold work, taking the exhibition down down and returning left over pots to the owners.  Many members of NZPotters are experienced in doing this and would be happy to help those who are not.


Forty seven members submitted work for selection and thirty six had work accepted. We were very pleased that the entries included four new members, two ex members and six who had not renewed their 2016 subscription for 2016. This confirmed to us that entry to national exhibitions is still an important aspect of membership.

Some members still need to learn the good strategies for entering.  Take care to fill in both entry forms as requested. They will probably be dealt with by different people and  if information on one is different from information on the other, confusion may result.
Entering a set is always tricky. It does let you enter more items, but if one of the items in the set is rejected by the selector then the whole set will be rejected. Again, a buyer may be keen to buy one or two items in a set but not the whole set. Why not let the buyer choose?

Sarah Geary

Take care in the titles you give to work. Labels such as Moonshine Jug I, Moonshine Jug II, and Moonshine Jug III may reveal more than you wanted if Moonshine II is not accepted.

Think of the catalogue designer when you choose your titles. Blue Moonshine Jug for Late Night Romancing in Spring at Five Rivers hogs more space in the catalogue than your work deserves and will be truncated in a way that may not please you.  Better to do the truncating yourself.
Frederika Ernsten & Jim Pollard

Nina Davis - Peoples Choice Award

One of my jobs this time was the making coffee for the selector so I had to come early to open the door for Chris Weaver and make the coffee. Being early meant I could have a good look at the work that was submitted. The craft of pottery is very dear to me and the craftsmanship in the work that was ultimately not accepted was not good by a long mile. It was obvious that a lot more training is needed for most members whose work was not accepted. This raises a question.  Over the last few years in exhibitions the sculptural side of pottery has been the dominant factor. Should other NZPotters exhibitions, like Tableware, do more to promote the craft of wheel thrown pottery? We are NZ Potters after all and the wheel is still at the centre of work with clay that distinguishes potters from all other clay workers.
Frederika Ernsten

Mason Chidgey
Sue Dasler
Sylvia Sinel

Ceramics NZ

Registered as an incorporated society in 1965 by an enthusiastic group of potters in Wellington, New Zealand, Ceramics NZ has grown to become a significant international voice in New Zealand ceramics. The affiliation of about three dozen independent pottery clubs throughout New Zealand together with a number of corporate businesses greatly increases its effective membership. We are a national, not-for-profit organisation representing the interests of practising potters and ceramicists, students of ceramics and all those interested in New Zealand ceramics. We actively support and promote quality, and we encourage and support specialist ceramics education nationally.
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