Canturbury/West Coast report — May 2023
Hard to Get Again, June 3 – 27
We are bringing back three of New Zealand’s top ceramicists for the end of autumn; these artists create highly sought-after pieces that are becoming harder and harder to get, please join us in June for a chance to get!
Greetings from the Ashburton Pottery Society we are a small group of enthusiastic potters, most of us have been focused on hand building lately with some interesting results.
We are planning to begin evening classes in the spring once the warmer weather returns, we have previously had classes with school age children but are now hoping to inspire a few more adults to join us in this great and I consider therapeutic craft, We have welcomed three new members lately who are very keen to learn.
Once a month we have a day where one of the members chooses a subject to create a piece this idea has been well received and there has been interesting results. There has been one or two trying ceramics using molds.
We would love to try Raku or a pit firing but unfortunately lighting fires in the open here is not permitted. Our mid winter dinner is in the planning stage but as yet the venue remains undecided.. Happy Potting, keep safe and warm.. regards Elaine Mason (president).
Hakatere Ceramics Pottery in Ashburton were delighted to host well known NZ potter Peter
Johnson for a workshop at our studio on Saturday 13th May, followed by a potluck dinner hosted by
Mick & Sanae Hydes (our President and Treasurer). 13 members attended the workshop, and Peter
demonstrated how to throw pots off a hump, and how to easily throw bigger shapes using multiple
parts rather than starting/dealing with one large piece of clay. This method was different than
others previously demonstrated (at least for this member) and was tried by the wheel workers later
in the day. A number of us found this a really good way to create a big piece. Peter then showed
how he threw his seal bodies, which were set aside for finishing later. We then joined 2x pinch pots
together to make various things – jugs, vases, sculptures etc. There was lots of thinking outside the
box rather than just using the pinch pots as bowl shapes. As a group we made multiple coils to
make 2 large group pots, which everyone got the opportunity to add coils to, handle and shape.
Whilst the wheel workers tried the things he had demonstrated, the hand workers made ‘derelict
houses’ planter pots. Peter then finished of his seals head and appendages, added facial expressions
and ‘seal wrinkles’. He also turned his large thrown pot into a big teapot with thrown spout. Peter
emphasized the need to focus on the the fundamentals, and find something that you enjoy doing
and making, and then practise that one thing until you are really good at it.
Peter was full of information, and happily offered advice to everyone to improve their techniques.
He also talked about the firing methods he uses, and paper clay making techniques. We are grateful
to Peter for his time and knowledge, and Creative Communities in Ashburton for funding the
majority of the workshop.