I would like to thank all the individuals that came to the working bee! It is with your help that the club rooms remain in such a beautiful state.
We really can not run without the volunteers who donate their time to keep the club going.
If you are interested in the wood firing on the 16th October please sign up here.
Wood firing glazes will be available on club evenings. If you can not make it to the club evenings,
Please give me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can sort out a time.
For more information about how to glaze, please see upcoming events on the club website.
All cone 7 glazes can be used in the wood firing, but do not expect it to come out as it would in the electric kiln.
We no longer have clay bins. You are expected to bring a bucket for your clay, clay slopes and some water. A 10 litre bucket will normally do.
The club does not have the resources to process clay from 90 odd members.
After doing your potter, clean the clay off the tools you have been using in some water and pour this into your bucket.
If they are personal tools, these can be simply placed into your bucket for cleaning when you get home.
Remove most of the clay from your workstation with the water from your bucket. Then wipe the work area once more with clean water which can go down the drain after.
AGM, Tuesday 8 November, 7pm
In preparation for our upcoming AGM please find last year’s minutes as well as agenda attached.
For a smooth and successful running of our club we are looking for people to join our committee, this can be in the capacity of general committee member or as an officer with a particular area of responsibility. If you are ready to contribute but don’t feel like going to committee meetings there are also an array of jobs for you to choose from. Please just check the attachment, all blank spaces in the middle and right hand column are up for grabs. To confirm your offer ahead of the AGM please just get back to Renate on email@example.com.
As always the AGM will be followed by our World Famous Auction. To donate your contribution ahead of time please just drop it into Room 3 clearly labelled.
Key Lock Access
Key lock number will be changed at the start of term 4. If you are a key lock holder you will receive the new number in a separate email.
Please take care in managing access to our club rooms. The key lock box has been found unlocked a number of times recently.
Hope you have all had a chance to go out and enjoy the sun! I know I have been trying to take advantage of the rays.
As always, when spring comes, the club gets busier and busier! Please read these updates and it is important if you are involved in some of the activities.
All updates will be posted on the website under club news.
I am busy most of the weekend, so I will start the pit firing bisque on Sunday Evening when I come back to town. Please have your pots on the members shelf ready to fire!
The pots should be ready to pick up on the following Tuesday!! Exciting times.
If you have access to natural hardwood or un-tanalized offcuts of wood, dry seaweed, dry driftwood, dry small pine cones, walnut shells etc please bring on the day.
Also bring any organic bits, dried fruit skins, dry egg shells, dry pine needles etc along to put by your own pots in the pit. Bits pulled from a copper scouring pad are also effective. You can wrap copper wire tightly around your pot for a lovely effect as well.
Please listen to directions from our small pit firing team & do not attempt to do anything without their knowledge. A list of rules has now been made for this firing & will be attached.
Look forward to seeing you there
Gallery Room Updates
The wonderful Sheila is in the middle of updating and cataloguing our pottery collection in the gallery/exhibition room!
Currently there is some tape on the glass and shelves where the pots are, PLEASE LEAVE THESE.
They are there for identification.
We are also looking for someone who is handy with a camera to take some photos for documentation.
If it sounds like you, please give us an email or let Sheila know.
Di is doing a demo on the 13th September Tuesday evening 7pm. This is an awesome opportunity to see a great potter at work!
She will be showing some wheelwork with tips and tricks. I think everyone has seen the stunning work that new potters are putting out from her class..
Makes a person curious about all the knowledge the tutor is teaching!
Date: 13th September
We are also looking for someone who can host the demo.
A host will make sure everyone is signed in and that Di has what she needs.
They will also help tidy up and set up the room.
As a host, you can attend the demo for free!
Give me an email if you are keen!
Shona's Slab and Slip workshop - October Sunday 30 th 9.30 to 3.30pm
A working workshop on slab platters with a coiled foot ring, a coiled vase, slip decorating 3 different
sprayer, clay tools, apron, towel, any slip colours, masking tape, sticky shapes circles, squares
etc., wax, rubber latex, Stamps, any glazed tile for mixing slips, scissors, newspaper. A smooth
slight curved dish glass plastic, an old wok that type of shape as we will be working on top of the
hump mould old towels for working with, brushes any, Eco shop have a good supply of curved
lamp shades. If you don’t have all of this we will share.
We may not get it all done, but you will have the knowledge to work at home.
Bring a shared lunch.
Email Shona for enrolments firstname.lastname@example.org
The Estuary Trust’s Bird Expo
The Estuary Trust’s Bird Expo is on at the Mt Pleasant Community Centre. It is an exhibition of bird photos and paintings from local professional photographers and local artists, including Sheila Brown and Jo Ogiers. We will have a Mt Pleasant Pottery Group table of items for sale also. Each item will need to have an estuary bird theme.
If this is something that you are interested in contributing to, then contact me, email@example.com or 0211829600
Paper Clay Demo - Tuesday 11th October 7pm - 9pm
Why use Paper Clay? It has exceptional strength before bisque firing, it's light and can be made out of scrap clays. You can build large structures and add wet to dry clay. It's fast drying, versatile and can be filed, carved or drilled. It's ideal for slab work and tiles as it doesn't warp or crack when fired. It can be stored dry in flat sheets and then cut with scissors or a Stanley knife before joining or reconstituting.
Lesley Towart will be giving a demonstration of paper clay making along with some of its applications.
We have also been invited to the Halswell wood firing! This is a great opportunity to do some firing in a reduced atmosphere and also meet some people from both clubs!
The firing is on the 16th October 9am start. The kiln will be stacked on Friday the 14th October.
Pots should be glazed on the inside with a splash on the outside. Leave some naked clay so the wood can color the pots.
The roster is Sunday 9am to 12 12pm to 3pm 3pm to 6 or later
We will require 4/ 5 people on each shift on each firebox taking turns getting wood ready and opening
the lid and putting in the wood this can be hot work as it is good to share the load.
Email Shona: claytech1@gmail for your rostered time.
This new date will give you all a bit more time to make your work.
Requirements are. pine cones, bring water and your lunch if on lunch duty. Long sleeves and trousers
and a band or hat to keep hair in, leather gloves.
You can use your usual glazes inside and a splash outside. It is best not to glaze all the outside as we
want the wood and ash to work on the naked areas. You can use glue squeeze on the top part of your
pots and sprinkle wood ash over, this will make a sort of decoration add interest to your work.
Google wood fired pots and see what others have done.
Addition: I am planning on making some Shinos and Celadons as instructed from Shona. These glazes will be available at a later date for people to put on their pots for the wood firing - Angu
Stacked Garden Sculpture Class
We have a new 8 week class coming up in October!! Stacked Garden Sculpture class.
Please find more detail in the image below.
With August nearly over and the club events ramping up like there is no tomorrow, another update is due!
The following updates can be found on the website under club news as well.
Sat10th Sept Pit and Saggar Firing
Tuesday 13 Sept, Wheel work Demo with Dianne Macdonald
Sat 24 Sept, Working Bee 1-3 (afternoon only)
Paper Clay Demo - Tuesday 11th October 7pm - 9pm
Why use Paper Clay? It has exceptional strength before bisque firing, it's light and can be made out of scrap clays. You can build large structures and add wet to dry clay. It's fast drying, versatile and can be filed, carved or drilled. It's ideal for slab work and tiles as it doesn't warp or crack when fired. It can be stored dry in flat sheets and then cut with scissors or a Stanley knife before joining or reconstituting. Lesley Towart will be giving a demonstration of paper clay making along with some of its applications.
16th October - Wood Firing with Halswell Pottery
Find more information on the club website.
Birds of our Estuary - Exhibition
The Estuary Trust’s Bird Expo is on at the Mt Pleasant Community Centre. It is an exhibition of bird photos and paintings from local professional photographers and local artists, including Sheila Brown and Jo Ogiers. We will have a Mt Pleasant Pottery Group table of items for sale also. Each item will need to have an estuary bird theme. If this is something that you are interested in contributing to, then contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org or 0211829600
Sculpture Festival 2-16 September
The Arts Centre Sculpture Festival is on again! This is an awesome chance to see, attend and witness some beautiful sculptural art! This years lineup of events are awesome.
The ones that stand out to me are
Update that pit firing demo night has been postponed till next week Tuesday (16th August).
Hope everyone can still make it! We have Halswell Pottery joining us as well so it will be a great chance to mingle.
I know it hasn't been long since the last update but more things are happening. It feels like as we get closer to spring, the pottery community is slowly picking up again.
Do you have unwanted cotton pillow cases? Mount Pleasant wants your old pillow cases for clay recycling! Give us an email if you have any.
Website - Struggling to find the email updates after reading them? Well... the updates will also be uploaded onto the club website now under club news!
With the amount of rain that is falling down, why not visit an exhibition this weekend or next? Xgaleri has an exhibition on showcasing some of the local pottery talent around!
There is work from Shona Clarkson, Susan Blackburn, Leigh-Ann Smith, Sheila Brown, Jackie Foulkes and Dianne Macdonald! Please come and show some support!
Artist development workshops
If you are interested in developing your career as an artist, Linwood Arts East side gallery are holding some workshops centered around this.
To read more, please download the PDF attached
Read the rest below
Wood firing is a long and labour intensive process but man is it fun! On an October Saturday morning, Halswell pottery began feeding the beast, a beautiful downdraft wood fire kiln. With around 100 pots stashed in its belly, and a year's worth of donated wood, it was only a matter of time before the beast started roaring with glee.
Members of Mount Pleasant Pottery Group were sprinkled through the roster to feed the beast and that we did. Bundles of fast firing pine were initially thrown into the fireboxes. One big log on the left and small pieces on the right. The idea was the big logs provided a steady heat while the small pieces sent the temperature up. It did not take long before we could hear the beast chugging down oxygen as it greedily devoured the wood. At this point, it was important to know how fast the temperature was rising, and without a pyrometer.. We had to do it the old fashion way, by eye and cones.
A quick peek into the belly of the beast and we saw it all. Flames licking pots, pots glowing bright red, cones bending to praise the kiln gods.. At about cone 6 (1240C), the fun stuff was put in. This included cedar wood, cabbage tree leaves, pine cones, pine needles and eucalyptus bark. These materials would crackle and pop in the firebox and send ash throughout the chambers where the pots were sitting. The chimney damper was closed to allow the ash to circulate through the chambers, enticing the ash to stick to pots, melt and form a glaze.
A total of 8 hours of nonstop feed was demanded to satisfy the hunger of the beast. It then took a further 24 hours before it slept, and we could finally open its belly to inspect what goodies were produced. I encourage more members to participate in the wood firing next year as the results are so much fun and liberating… e.g. no idea what we were going to get…
On Friday 7th February, Brenda took a group from New World for a Team Building exercise. A great night was had by all. Some photo's below.
The club is open to providing social activities for small groups; contact through this web site if you haven't a contact number.
The Bay Harbour News recently published this article, written by Renate, after our very successful exhibition.
WHEN THE Mt Pleasant Pottery Group was founded in 1960, it was known as the Betty Crocker Potters.
This was because members used commercially-supplied materials from Smith and Smith, rather than digging them out of the ground as purist potters did.
The group once operated out of a hut across the road from the Mt Pleasant Community Centre.
As the club expanded over the years, it typically had an active membership of about 60 to 80 and exhibitions were big affairs. Over time, the club acquired considerable assets, including a gas kiln, salt-firing kiln and a large wood-firing kiln.
Believed to be the oldest pottery club in Christchurch, the group celebrated its 50th birthday before the earthquakes.
The February 22, 2011, quake rendered the former Mt Pleasant Community Centre clubrooms unsafe, so for a number of years it was a very difficult time. Class activities continued to a limited extent in a member’s private studio in association with workshops held as part of the Otago Polytechnic Diploma in Ceramic Arts distance learning.
The group will forever be thankful to Shona Clarkson for keeping these activities going.
Finally in 2016, a then very small but dedicated group of members relocated to the Phillipstown Hub as it was unable to secure rooms in the newly-rebuilt community centre. Members occupied a classroom-sized space and a kiln shed.
Since then, the club has steadily been re-growing and presently runs five regular classes, children’s classes, club days, raku firings, weekend workshops and more. One of the regular highlights used to be the yearly exhibition at the Mt Pleasant Community Hall with an out-of-town exhibitor who would open the evening. The group had not held an exhibition for a number of years, but felt it was time to reintroduce it to the yearly calendar to celebrate the group’s achievements, its creative members and a beautiful craft.
The exhibition was held last month at the Mt Pleasant Community Centre with guest potter Neil Hey, who put his works on show.
PROGRESS: Renate Galetzka giving a demonstration of engobe decoration at the Mt Pleasant Pottery Group.
Congratulations to all the members who organised and provided a wonderful exhibition of our club member's work on Friday & Saturday 18/19 October, 2019.
There were 21 exhibitors and 113 items on display.
At this year’s exhibition we had four awards:
First Time Exhibitor Award – Sculptural went to Hilary Cowburn for her ‘Lagoon Vessels’
First Time Exhibitor Award – Wheel Work went to Cally Meredith for her three ‘Bar Code Beakers’
Merit Award went to Leigh-Ann Smith for her ‘Forever Flowers’
Selectors’ Choice Award went to Ken Doidge for his whole body of work.
The Mt Pleasant Community Centre was an ideal venue to have our first exhibition since before the 2011 earthquakes and we thank them for hospitality.
The photographs of some of the visitors and works on display are below.
A successful day was held on Saturday 27th July at Halswell Pottery Club where we fired the wood kiln. Shona and Chris light the fire at 7.30am; the weather forecast meant that is would be cold and not conducive to a good hot fire. This turned out to be true; no wind helping the flue draw didn't help, either.
Great camaraderie at the firing vents added to the excitement and spirit of the day. If you have any pyromaniac tendencies, come to the next wood firing.
We shut-up the kiln about 6.00pm and assembled on Monday morning to open up. The photo's are below.
With the winter weather closing in, now is a great time to reignite your enthusiasm for pottery. Pop along to one of our Tuesday club days and spend some time creating with others. Have a read below of what’s happening at the club and get involved. Everyone welcome.
Don’t forget to check out our website https://www.mtpleasantpottery.org.nz with information on class times and the latest news and updates.
New clay is on its way. You can purchase this online.
Our account details are: Mt Pleasant Pottery, Westpac: 03 1591 0083454 00
Alternatively place the correct cash in a clearly marked envelope and put into the box under the large tables. Please note that prices for clay have now increased.
Mac’s White $65
Please ensure when making payment you include a reference name and what you are paying for.
The wood-firing is set to take place on Saturday 27th July. 11 people have signed up to participate so far. Please add you name to the list if you can help out.
Shona will run a glazing class for this on Tuesday club night 23rd July.
Please make sure you have all your pots ready in the marked box by Thursday 25th July.
The evening classes are now full including the newly structured beginners classes.
Wednesday class has two spaces as does the monthly wheel class run by Renate.
Please contact Leigh-Anne if you would like to join a class. 027 480 7189 or
Brenda has completed a successful kids holiday throwing class.
She is looking to run a Christmas gift making class for the September holidays for both adults and children.
Monthly Wheel Work Intensive, Project based Class with Renate has two spaces available
Time: last Fri of the month, 9:30am to 12:30pm
Max number of students: 6
Target group: Beginning intermediate to intermediate potter
Prerequisite: Basic centering and throwing ability of small pots and basic form
Course outline: Understanding vessels: what makes i.e. a good mug, bowl or plate (proportion, handle, foot ring, weight, ease of glaze-ability, etc.)
Experimenting with shape and form, finding one’s own preferred shape of dish
Learning and practicing how to achieve repeatable form
Understanding shrinkage and how to work it
Basic understanding of clays and their qualities, among other stuff
This includes lots of technical demonstrations by me; throwing techniques, turning, tips and tricks, do’s and don’ts, rescue missions, best tools for the job, etc.; as well as working on one’s own pots, throwing, turning etc. with observation and feedback from me, as well as monthly plan of project, homework and sharing of ideas and successes.
You will need some time on the wheel outside of the class, by attending club day, another regular class or having your own wheel at home. If this sounds like you, please get in contact with Renate 0211336620 or email@example.com
Club Exhibition 2019
After a 5 year break our yearly club exhibition is back!
Guest exhibitor is Neil Hey, a former chair of our club, also former chair of Ceramics NZ, formerly known NZ Society of Potters
Submission Date 12 Oct
Date 19/20 Oct
Venue Mt Pleasant Community Centre Hall
Attached please see enrolment form and exhibition conditions, please familiarise yourself and if you have any questions, or are keen to be part of the planning please get in contact with Renate or Leigh-Ann, contact details at the end of the newsletter.
Tools – A number of pottery tools have been broken or gone missing recently. Please have a look in your tool boxes for any that may have accidentally found their way into your kits and if found, return them as soon as possible.
You can purchase your own pottery tools from General Pottery 49 Ferry Road.
Please make sure you clean your work area well as we no longer have a weekly cleaner.
MtP Pottery Club Programme for 2019
CLUB DAYS & CLUB NIGHTS
Club Days are on Tuesdays, 10am to 3.30pm and 7 to 9pm.
Club Demonstration Nights are on the second Tuesday of every month.
We are hosting guest speakers and demonstrators who will be sharing their knowledge and expertise on a wide range of topics relating to pottery and ceramics.
A $5 donation please.
To get most out of our Demonstration Club Nights please get in contact and let me know which topics you would like to know more about. I will try and make it happen!
Renate 021-1336620, firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday Club Day, 1st Saturday of the month, 10.00am till noon
Saturday Raku Club Day with Leigh-Ann
One day workshop
Make your own screen for printing on clay
Price to be advised
Club Night: Everything Glaze Materials
Bring all your unanswered questions relating to glaze making. Our very own expert, Ken, will have an answer for everything! Like: What’s Silica? Why did that glaze run? Why is that glaze stuck to the bottom and what can I do? What makes my glaze blue or white or red or...?
Club Night: Hands on “Mocha Diffusion”
Bring along leather hard test tiles and /or pots, small to med size. We will supply slip and two or three acidic colours, then see what happens. Google it! It’s fun fun fun!! Originally made by boiling tobacco, nowadays made with vinegar, but you can even make it with mandarin juice (I’ve tried).
Possibly Weekend workshop with Yi-Ming Lin – Sculpture. Please txt Renate on 0211336620 to gauge interest
Club Day and Club Night: Submission of works
No Club Night: Any last min prep for our upcoming show. We’ll keep you posted
Submission and Selection Day, 10am
Friday/Saturday, 18 – 19 Exhibition
At Mt Pleasant Community Centre Hall
All hands on deck, please volunteer for all the jobs large and small that will help make our exhibition a success
AGM and world-famous auction
End of Year Party
Day outing to Birdlings Flat with Action Firing (pit firing) and picnic at the beach. Bring family and partners, this will be fun fun fun!
Date to be announced closer to the time, with consideration to tides. If total fire ban should be in place event will be postponed to autumn 2020.
Watch this space - Fire permit is submitted
Happy potting everyone - Jackie
On behalf of your committee.
The Secretary and Members - Mt Pleasant Pottery Group.