Welcome to the Ceramics Association of New Zealand (Inc)
Clubs are Critically Important to a Healthy New Zealand Society
Recently a Stuff article carried the following information. (The article was written by Nikki McDonald).
On a quiet capital street, busy hands are throwing and pinching, rolling and sculpting. Started in 1958, the Wellington Potters' Association has never been in such demand. They've imposed a temporary moratorium on new members to decide how to manage the influx.
30-year-old Wellington Potters Centre member Maria Koroniadis appreciates the break from technology and the advice of experienced potters.
It's a Tuesday club morning, where veterans Vera Burton and Mal Sole offer their time and expertise to novices. When Burton joined the association in 1983, the club occupied just the bottom room of the two-storey suburban building. The Musical Drama Society tap-danced their way around the dance studio above. That petered out and the pottery workshop took over the whole space.
Burton took up pottery to get out of the house when her daughter was 6 months old. She won't reveal her age, but says her daughter is over 50.
Sole had five kids and was raising bonsai trees. Faced with a $500 bonsai pot, he decided he needed to make his own. Twenty-four years later he still loves transforming an amorphous giant ball of mud.
Many clubs are struggling to find enough volunteers. Wellington Potters' Association vice -president Elaine Marland currently spends 10-15 hours a week on club business.
"I only like making the stuff, i don't really care what happens to it afterwards ... You ought to see my garden! I don't have to mow the lawns, because no grass fits in between."
Maria Koroniadis learned to work clay while trying 30 new things before turning 30, and was instantly hooked.
"It's grounding. Connecting to something more creative, getting off your phone. There's no technology – it's just you and the wheel and you just have to try and make something ... You can easily go into K-mart and buy something for $2, but you know everyone else has got the same thing, and there's no love in it."
But the whole club of 450 members is run by just eight committee members. There's a team to mix glazes and a team that runs the twice-weekly kiln firings. That's headed by Peter Rumble, but he wants out as it's so time-consuming he struggles to make his own work. Many volunteers have day jobs, including vice-president Elaine Marland, who works for Heritage New Zealand. At present, she's spending 10-15 hours a week on Potters' Association work.
"There's a huge amount to do."
Koroniadis, 30, doesn't belong to any other clubs – she spends all her time here. As well as the facilities she appreciates the experience of older club members.
"If you don't know something, if you're my age you just google it. For potting, you can't really google it. So you guys are the google," she says to Burton and Sole.
While clubs must change with society, there's no substitute for that inter-generational exchange of skills.
"They bring cake and you bring knowledge," Burton says.
Anneke Borren on the Move
Anneke Borren bought her new specially-designed motor-home "Chez-Moi" on the first of January, 2019. Howard Williams has taken great photos of "Chez-Moi" for her future projects, which she outlines below.
"Part of my ideas of selling my home and downsizing into a travelling vehicle, was to open up the possibility of contacting and visiting all the various smaller pottery clubs in the country, offering my expertise in ceramics and teaching skills along the way, over a period of perhaps three or four months, travelling through both the North and South Islands.
There aren't many professional potters still working in New Zealand, so it seems necessary to me, that maintaining the high standards of NZ pottery history over the years, is important - as well as my "giving back" after the wonderful pottery career I've had here. Working with clay, both in domestic ware and the "artistic" expressions, has been my life - and I've loved every minute of it!
Is there any interest out there in this kind of scheme, with remuneration being a reasonable koha? I intend to start it towards the end of 2019, going into 2020. This does not necessarily have to be under the Ceramics NZ Inc banner, but as a past president and now Life Member of the Society, I am interested in operating this scheme on my own. I need some time to get used to living in a motor-home, as well as still maintaining a pottery workshop in Wellington.
The kilns have fallen cold but a fire still burns for the man who made them.
Potter Mirek Smišek's two beehive kilns are believed to be the only of their kind in New Zealand, and they're in the path of new expressway works.
This year, the New Zealand Transport Agency will move the fragile structures just a little to the left, making way for both the road and local plans to develop a creative centre in the potter's memory.
Te Uru is pleased to announce local Henderson duo Sang-Sool Shim and Keum-Sun Lee as the Premier Award Winners in the 2018 Portage Ceramic Awards, for their piece, In the Beautiful Dream.
The Award, with a value of $15,000, was presented by this year’s guest judge, Los Angeles artist Bari Ziperstein, at a ceremony held in West Auckland’s Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery on Thursday 8 November.
Ziperstein also presented three Merit Awards to artists Jim Cooper (Dunedin), Andrea du Chatenier (Whanganui) and Rick Rudd (Whanganui). A further five Honourable Mentions were awarded to Brendan Adams, Jinho Jeong, Peter Lange, John Roy and Susan St Lawrence.
Established in 2001 and administered by Te Uru with support from The Trusts Community Foundation, the annual Portage Ceramic Awards are Aotearoa-New Zealand’s best-known survey of contemporary ceramic activity. The 2018 Portage Ceramic Awards winners and finalist works will be on display at Te Uru in Titirangi from 9 November 2018 - 10 February 2019.
Ben Carter was recently brought to New Zealand by the Ceramics Association of New Zealand. While he was here he took various workshops around the country and interviewed various potters. These are the podcasts of those interviews.
Join Peter and Julie Collis on this trip of a lifetime through Japan. Discover a rich and varied history of pottery and
ceramics, art, culture, temples, gardens and food over two weeks in May 2019. Starting in Tokyo and visiting the ceramic centres of Bizen, Kyoto and Kanazawa as well as a little time on the edge of the Seto Inland Sea.
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.