Friday, August 19, 2016

New Plymouth Potters hold 43rd Annual Exhibition at JD Reid Art Gallery 2016

Congratulations to the Award Winners

Showing their work at New Plymouth Potters exhibition are, from left, Katerina Smoldyreva, Kathryn Gates, Graham Mulvay and Ruth Franklin.
Last updated 10:29, August 19 2016
If you give someone a piece of clay, the end result will always be so different. 
That's one of the highlights of the New Plymouth Potters 43rd Annual Exhibition  says club president Charles Holm, who welcomes people to view the selection of pieces at the JD Reid Gallery.
"One of the things that I'm impressed with is everyone starts off with a piece of clay and you see there are no two things that are the same."
He was delighted with this year's entries from 21 potters. "I think there's a lot of new members joined who are extremely keen. I think also with Katerina being in the club, it's certainly raised the standard of everyone's exhibits."
He's talking about exhibition selector Katerina Smoldyreva, who comes from Russia and just moved to New Plymouth after spending 16 years teaching ceramic sculpture at the Dubai International Art Centre.
"I was so happy to come here to New Plymouth and find this fantastic old vicarage pottery club," she said. "I must say I've found a home."
Smoldyreva wasn't surprised by the quality of the work for the exhibition and describes the experience of selector as pleasant.
"On this exhibition the quality was of a very high standard and just confirms again my opinion that here in New Zealand people, when they have an enthusiasm for something, they really immerse themselves into it."
Kathryn Gates was the Supreme Winner. "I was absolutely thrilled because it's just a real honour to receive an award in our exhibition," she said.
Graham Mulvay was selected as the Merit Award winner, for what he estimates is his third time. The last occasion about five years ago. "It means that I'm still up there somewhere," he laughs. 
"Frankly I was surprised because generally when you've won the Supreme Award the year before you don't always get a look in. Obviously the selector liked my work, which is really good."
He teaches classes for beginner potters at the club and was impressed with the diversity of exhibits from members. "My students are winning awards, which is amazing."
One of his former students is novice award winner Ruth Franklin. "It was pretty exciting. I wasn't expecting to win it. It just gave me a boost of confidence," she said of her win.
The exhibition runs until September 10.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Waiclay National Ceramics Exhibition 2015

Congratulations to three Taranaki Potters who have had work selected for the 2015 Waiclay Exhibition, which was selected and opened by Chester Nealie, Australia, on Friday 13 November.  The exhibition is being held at the Waikato Museum from 14 November 2015 - 31 January 2016.

"Earth's Magic" by Maria Brockhill
"Star Dust" by Barbara Nicholls

"Textured Rainbow Pot" and
"Rainbow Bowl" by Anthea Stayt


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Award Winners - Exhibition 2015

The New Plymouth Potters held their 42nd Annual Exhibition at J.D. Reid Gallery, New Plymouth.  The guest selector/exhibitor was Paul Maseyk.  The Supreme Award went to a piece by Graham Mulvay.  The Merit Award went to a piece by Barbara Nichols and the Novice Award went to Marlane O'Brien. Congratulations to the winners.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


To all members of New Plymouth Potters,

I am sad to send the news that Joyce Young, one of our foundation members, passed away earlier this week.

As well as an innovative and original potter Joyce was a wonderful  pastel and paint artist and gardener to name but a few of her talents.  Her energy and enthusiasm for her many pursuits would be very difficult to equal.

Joyce was an exhibitor in all 42 of our annual exhibitions winning the last of the Puki Ariki Collection in 2003, a past president and faithful attender of every AGM.  She will be sadly missed by many.

Joyce has an impressive exhibit of three of her native birds on rocks at our 2015 Annual exhibition at the J D Reid gallery at 33A Devon ST West.  Contributions of your memories of Joyce would be welcome for our newsletter. Please send by reply.

Our sincere condolences are extended to her family .

Jan Pidwell

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

'Members' Annual Exhibition

The 42nd 'Members' Annual Exhibition is to be held at the J.D. Reid Gallery, 33a Devon St, New Plymouth from Saturday 8 August to 5 September.

Opening night is at 5.30pm on Friday 7 August.

The Guest Selector and Exhibitor is Paul Maseyk, Ceramic Artist.  He gained his Diploma of Ceramic Design and Production from Wanganui Polytechnic in 1997, and is noted for producing ceramic works ranging from tableware through to highly illustrated large sculptural pieces. While Maseyk has explored several different avenues with his forms and subject matter, he is mostly known for his Greek inspired ceramic forms.

He is represented in numerous public collections within New Zealand including Te Papa Tongarewa, The Dowse Art Museum and the Auckland War Memorial Museum.      

The exhibition will include pieces from Paul Maseyk and work selected from New Plymouth potters.  

Thursday, September 25, 2014


New Plymouth Potters, Barbara Nicholls and Kathryn Gates join with Janette Theobald and Maree Liddington this month for an exhibition combining pottery and fibre art.  The exhibition opens on Sunday 28th with an opening afternoon tea from 2pm, at The Village Gallery, Eltham.  Visitors are very welcome.

 Barbara has been involved in pottery for the past 30 years. She has developed her skills by attending polytechnic night classes, weekend workshops and summer schools. She is a member of the New Plymouth Potters club and the NZ Society of Potters.

In her words, “I am interested in anything to do with clay but it’s the energy and thought processes involved in wheel throwing that I enjoy the most. I am interested in the form of a pot and have recently been inspired to look at a more contemporary approach using the bowl form as a sculptural expression. I am interested in glazes and reduction firing in a gas kiln. I am currently experimenting with porcelain and traditional style oriental reduction glazes like copper red and celadon. “

Kathryn is also a potter of 30 years experience.  She has been experimenting with clay by developing forms on the wheel, using high-fired stoneware and porcelain clay bodies as well as creating large slab forms.

To quote Kathryn's words, “I find the medium of clay a very tactile and responsive material to express my creative energy. I decorate my work using Chinese style glazes, and also enjoy exploring other glaze combinations such as ash, copper and barium. Reduction firing the work in a gas kiln to a temperature of 1280 to 1300C produces a variety of effects and colours.”

Janette has a strong affinity to the land of Aotearoa. In her words, “ It is my joy to explore and interpret the worlds around me using arguably the most ancient textile of all, felted wool.  Felt is a magical material, a soft, warm flexible natural material made from wool other fibres.  It can be moulded and shaped into two and three dimensional artefacts simply with the addition of water and friction.  I enjoy the challenge of extending the creative possibilities of the medium, and teaching and sharing the pleasure of creativity using such a simple and fascinating technology.”

Maree has a passion for Tapestry weaving, another ancient art form.  She is inspired by her love of the mountains and bush, and in this exhibition has several pieces inspired by the volcanic plateau of the North Island.  Maree says, “ Tapestry weaving is a totally absorbing, and almost meditative process.  From the design and drawing stage to the actual weaving, one can get lost in the work.  A similar process to an artist with their painting, I would think.”

'From the Land'  is on display at The Village Gallery, Eltham from 29th September - 24th October.
Opening hours: 10am -3pm Monday – Saturday.  Any enquiries to Maree 7645221.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Annual Exhibition Finished but Gallery still open

Thanks to REAL TART Gallery for hosting our 41st Annual Exhibition which finished at the weekend. We hope you got a chance to see the amazing talent of local potters in Taranaki.......if not then come and check out our members work housed in our Gallery at 288 Courtenay Street, New Plymouth.  We are open Sat/Sun between might even find something there for fathers' day!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Business as Usual at our Gallery

Our Gallery will remain open at 288 Courtenay Street on Sat and Sun between 1-4 pm pending the NPDC funding decision on the earthquake strengthening required.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Check out our 41st Annual Exhitibion at Real Tart Gallery 2nd to 31st of August

Real Tart Gallery is open Tues-Fri 10am til 5 pm and Weekends from 10am til 3 pm
Maria's winning "Merit" Award

AND Congrats also to Vicky on winning the 'Novice" Award

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Congratulations Jan on your winning entry "Inflammable" in our 41st Annual Exhibition which is now showing at Real Tart Gallery during the month of August......come pay a visit and check out this and all the other entries.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Our 41st Annual Exhibition....2nd to 31st August at Real Tart Gallery

Members will be submitting their best work for selection by Guest Exhibitor Beverley Rea.  The Exhibition will be held at Real Tart Gallery for the Month of August.  Real Tart Gallery is located at 19 Egmont Street, New Plymouth and is open:
Tues to Friday  10am to 5pm
Sat and Sunday 10am to 3pm
Please come and see the best works of our local potters and our Guest Exhibitor, Beverley Rea.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Successful Market Day

Thanks to all those who visited us recently.......many have been disappointed as they didn't know the Taranaki Arts Trail was are some pic's of our work that was on offer.......and if you want to pop down over the weekend.....we have restocked the gallery with some wonderful new and colourful work. If you don't want to miss out on the next event, find us on Facebook and please "share" our posts with your friends to help us spread the word.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Come and Meet Local Potters - 14th & 15th June

Don't forget we are open for the Taranaki Arts Trail this weekend........9.30am to 5 pm on both Sat and Sunday.  In addition to our Gallery at Te Henui, ten of our local potters have "set up shop" in our clubrooms so you will have a chance to meet them in person, view their personal creations for sale and also get a chance to discuss any of those special one of pieces you may have designed and want produced especially.  Look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Pencil June 14th-15th in your Diary!!

This is the weekend of the Taranaki Arts Trail and not only will we have our gallery open, but several local members will have their work for sale and will be setting  up a a large market in our clubrooms.  We have extended our hours during this weekend from 9.30am to 5pm on both the Saturday and Sunday.  So please come and visit us where you will have a chance to meet and talk with local potters and be able to purchase unique one off hand crafted works at very reasonable prices.  We look forward to seeing you there.  Thanks for following us. Regards, Lynda

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Stuck for ideas for Mothers' Day on 7th May?

Why not come and visit out gallery ? Open every weekend on Sat/Sun between 1-4pm.....I've attached some photos of current work available in our gallery.  Love to see you there!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Public Pottery Classes prove popular

Our hand-building pottery classes, held on Tuesday evenings from 7-9pm during school terms continue to be very popular - there's currently a waiting list of over a year. Please email for more information.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Big Experiment

What do you do with an old brick kiln at the back of the clubrooms?  Well New Plymouth Potters Club members recently decided to fire it up to see what happened.  Yes there was a was to be an experimental soda firing or it's technical term was an "atmospheric saggar firing".  So we loaded in members pots that had been once fired (bisqued) and placed all sorts of chemical bits and pieces inside, soda, steel wool, copper wire, shells, copper carbonate to name a few.  The plan was that the heat generated from 3 bottles of gas and the chemical reactions would give us some amazing effects on our pots.  We put in an old pyrometer (which is supposed to give a temperature reading) but we weren't quite sure how accurate it would be.  We also placed some cones inside the kiln which melted at 925 and 1100 degrees just so we could see what actual temperature we had reached when we unpacked.  We said a little prayer and started firing.  It took a day before the kiln was cool enough to unpack....the results were mixed....some prayers were answered and some pots were binned!! We learned heaps....firstly the pyrometer wasn't as accurate as we thought......the plan was to try and reach 1000 degrees but both cones had melted completely so we think we fired to around the 1200 degree mark.  But many pots can be refired either in the next test run or in a Raku firing......for me personally I found some red boot polish that added the colour I lacked and sprayed it with polyurethane to seal it so that all was not lost!!  Will keep you posted as to how the second trial goes. That's half the fun as a are always learning and experimenting and saying prayers!
Thanks for following us. Regards, Lynda

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Club Raku Firing - 22nd February 2014

We held a very successful Raku firing recently and I have attached some photos which show the process and the results!  We fire the pots in the drum fuelled by gas and then remove them whilst they are red hot....they look like molten glass.  Then they are immediately placed into sawdust and covered where an amazing chemical reaction occurs and these beautiful colours and lustres are created for decorative pieces.  Come and view some of our Raku pieces for sale at the Gallery.  Thanks for following us.....Regards, Lynda

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Our New Pottery Wheels have arrived!!!

Thanks to the TSB Community Trust, our clubrooms now boast 6 new brand new pottery wheels, all set for the public classes that commenced this week.  Classes are full, but if you wish to enrol now for next term then please contact us now so we can reserve you a spot!! And remember if wheel work isn't your thing, we also run hand building classes.

The Gallery is looking great with a good supply of pots from a variety of members at very reasonable prices. Remember we are OPEN 1-4 every weekend and public holidays, or  groups anytime by prior arrangement. 

We have had a couple of very successful club RAKU firings recently so there are some really interesting one-off pieces in the gallery at present.

We have entered the gallery as part of the Taranaki Arts Trail event being held here in Taranaki on the 14th and 15th of June 2014 so mark those dates in your diary now.  We plan to also open up our clubrooms for you to come and view a larger range of our members work that weekend which we are already in the process of making!!

Check us out on facebook as I'm planning to post some photos on there of our current work for sale in the gallery!

As usual thanks for your support - Regards, Lynda

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pottery on show


Winning work: Award-winning members of the New Plymouth Potters
Cecily Bull, left, and Kathryn Gates with their work
                                              Photo: YVETTEBATTEN/FAIRFAX NZ
New Plymouth Potter's best work is on show at Real Tart Gallery this month. Their 40th annual members’ exhibition runs until September 1 and features work from this year’s guest selector and exhibitor Bruce Walford.
‘‘We always have a guest exhibitor who comes from somewhere else in the country,’’ explains New Plymouth Potters president Cecily Bull. ‘‘That person has the opportunity to have a look at the whole body of work that has been put forward by members and then select what he or she thinks is appropriate for the exhibition.’’ She said the guest selector can take members’ work out of the exhibition and it helps to set a standard of work. ‘‘  Obviously their opinion is selective.  We’re aware that it’s a moving target, but it does give us something to work towards and to raise our game.’’  A prize giving was held at the exhibition opening. Mrs Bull won the New Plymouth Potters Supreme Award, which was first given in 2005 at the bidding of an anonymous benefactor.  Winners receive $500 and in return the benefactor receives the award-winning piece for his collection. ‘‘  It’s a great honour and it’s very inspiring.’’  Kathryn Gates won the selector's Merit Award.  "I'm absolutely thrilled. It encourages and inspires you to continue," she said.
The pottery holds hand work and wheel work courses each term and The Vicarage shop is open from 1pm to 4pm each weekend. 
For more information contact Cecily on 022 0727 949

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Award Winners

The New Plymouth Potters 40th Annual Exhibition opening was held on Friday 2 August at the Real TArt Gallery.  The guest selector and Exhibitor, Bruce Walford opened the exhibition and announced the award winners.  The Supreme Award went to Cecily Bull for her two works "Papatanuku & Ranginui" (Earth mother and Sky father) and the Merit Award was presented to Kathryn Gates for her set of work "Reflections".
"Supreme Award" - Cecily Bull   
     "Merit Award" - Kathryn Gates 

Bruce Walford was born in South Africa and has over 40 years experience as a potter, working in his home country as well as Italy, Scotland, England, Australia and now New Zealand.  Bruce spent the 80s and 90s in South Africa exhibition widely and establishing himself as one of the top ten potters in the country and during this time won the South African Biennial Ceramics Awards (Thrown-ware category) and was invited to participate in the "1992 International Invitational Exhibition of Ceramic Art" at the National Museum of History in Taipei.
Bruce has refined a paperclay material which has given him the freedom to produce simple but strikingly sculptural waka forms and organic platters.  These are richly embellished with a range of textures and subtle glazes.

     A selection of Bruce Walford's work
Some of New Plymouth Potters exhibits on display at the Real TArt Gallery


The New Plymouth Potters wish to thank the following people and organisations for their assistance in making the 2013 40th Annual Exhibition possible:
  • Real TArt Gallery, kindly supported by Peter and Rosemary Tennent & family, The Devon Hotel, Marbles Buffet, Yarrows the Bakers, TSB Community Trust, New Plymouth District Council, Staples Rodway Chartered Accountants and billings Lawyers.
  • "The anonymous donor of the Supreme Award
  • The Lion Foundation

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Annual Exhibiton

Its that time of the year again and New Plymouth Potters are holding their 40th Annual Exhibition at Real TArt Gallery from Saturday 3 August to Sunday 1 September 2013. 

Guest selector and exhibitor is Bruce Walford. 

Bruce will also be holding a workshop over the weekend of Saturday 3 and 4 August.

The image is of a piece that Bruce is currently working on.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sculpture Workshop


Donna Willard-Moore, Fine Arts Tutor at WITT, ran a workshop to introduce club members to the art of sculpture.  Donna outlined some key principles of portraiture and slab construction over an armature whilst modelling a sculpture portrait from a photo of Martin Luther King.  The photographs below show the transformation from muddy snowman through alien to humanoid!  In under two hours the club members were inspired.  Our thanks to Donna for sharing her skill and passion for portraiture and sculpture with us and for inspiring us to step outside our comfort zones and try something new.

Due to the rain falling heavily during the week, the club did not have to cancel their raku firing due to a possible fire risk.  The day was well attended with a few new faces joining the regulars.  Some wonderful pieces emerged from the burnt sawdust.

(Thanks to Lynda for the photo)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Congratualtions to Maria Brockhill on having her pot selected for the NZP National Exhibition 2013.

This exhibition is being held at Expressions Gallery, Upper Hut, from 23 March to 12 May 2013, so if you are visiting Wellington,why not take time to check it out.  If you want to see the full exhibition go

Comments from the NZP President:
While potters get great pleasure from making a fine piece, from having it selected for a national exhibition and from seeing it displayed along side the work of others whom they respect, that pleasure is heightened when someone admires their work sufficiently to buy it.

Monday, August 6, 2012

New Plymouth Potters 39th Annual Exhibition

New Plymouth Potters 39th Annual Exhibition was opened at The Real TArt Gallery by guest selector and exhibitor Duncan Shearer from Hamilton. 
From the work selective Duncan awarded the Supreme Award to Barbara Nicholls, a Copper Red Bowl.  The merit Award went to Louise McFetridge, "The Wizard"  and the Novice Award went to Katherine Christian, a hand built coiled pot.
Thanks must go to Anthea Stayt for getting the plinths painted in time for the exhibition.  The plinths look very smart having had 3 coats of white paint.  The exhibition is our once a year event that show cases the work of the New Plymouth Potters, it is our opportunity to lift our public profile, so presentation is everything.
 New Plymouth Potters Inc. wishes to acknowledge Creative NZ for their grant towards the exhibition and workshop.
Louise McFetridge : Katherine Christian : Barbara Nicholls with guest selector Duncan Shearer

Monday, July 9, 2012

Anthea Stayt

I began my clay journey with learning the techniques of ceramic decoration almost 30 years ago, however once children came along that interest was put aside. When time for creativity became available again, I was living in the South Island but had found that the ceramic studios no longer exiisted. I then had to change direction and learn to make my own clay forms to decorate.

Handbuilding sculptural pieces was my chosen method but ironically I discovered that I preferred my work to remain in the natural, unglazed finish which relied on the play of shadow and light to attract interest.

There was a definite connection between the various pots and koru items I made, each having a fluent and feminine form. I have created a series of busts that are representative of the fashion of today, noting that these are not as disposable!

I am now beginning to experiment with colour by using glazes and overglazes to enhance my claywork, probably due to the influence of my new interest in oil painting.

At present I am working towards my first solo exhibition to be held in Real Tart Gallery during October this year. I have exhibited previously in the Aigantighe Gallery (South Canterbury), Fishers Fine Arts (Christchurch), guest artist at the Percy Thomson Gallery (Stratford) and most recently at the Museum of Waikato as my piece was selected for the Waiclay National Ceramic exhibition.

I am fortunate to be the recipient of the South Canterbury Potters Premier Award 2003 and 2004 and the New Plymouth Potters Supreme Award 2005.

The wonderful facilities at the Vicarage, the opportunities to exhibit and learn, the sharing of knowledge and companionship through the New Plymouth Potters club are a necessary and valuable support to my continuing development. Thank you.