Check out the latest news at Waikato Society of Potters!


Meet Mark, Mighty Waikato Pottery Throw Down

Hi everyone

Another week of potty goodness down! It’s been quietish in the studio this week – come see us soon, we miss you 😊

Meet the Crew Monday …on a Friday

Our crew member this week is Mark Tamura. Mark recently joined the WSP team as an Artist in Residence, so you’ll often see him around the studio on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Mark started potting in 2022. He joined Libby’s wheel-throwing class at WSP as an antidote to a job that he was finding rather stressful at the time. While it may seem strange to add an extra element to a weekly schedule that is arguably already too full, it really helped Mark. And that’s a common theme here at WSP, many of us find the time we spend working with clay really helps to de-stress and centre a busy mind.

Once Mark got started he couldn’t stop! He’s now an accomplished potter and has started teaching private wheel-throwing lessons at WSP.

Mark’s favourite thing to make is wild-clay tableware. He really loves being able to give someone back a piece of pottery that started its life as a piece of earth from a place that is special to them – something that can connect them with that place whenever they use it.

Having concentrated mostly on wheel-thrown domestic ware, Mark is using his Residency to develop that further, and is now also pushing himself into exploring new sculptural forms. As well as that, it’s allowing him to focus on getting familiar with the full range of tasks and systems that a fully functional ceramics practice and busy studio needs. From maintaining the various clay and glaze traps, clay recycling, kiln loading/unloading, firing, glaze making etc. There is so much to learn, and everyone is so generous with their time and knowledge – he tells us it’s a great space with great people.

Outside of the studio, Mark is a stay-at-home dad with two busy daughters and a consultant working mainly in local government, planning, and environmental management.

Say hi to Mark next time you’re in the studio, hit him up for a convo about the fantastic clay bodies he finds, and check out these pics of his work.

The Mighty Waikato Pottery Throw Down

Save the date for this hilarious member-focused event on Saturday the 6th of July! We had an absolute blast in previous years, with fun and frivolous competitions like The Fast and Furious Five-Minute Teapot, Blindfolded Throwing, Create a Creature, Two Person Throwing, All Day Tile Challenge, and more. And of course, we shared a kai, which was an absolutely epic spread. Come and join us this year for a good laugh with great people, not to mention the prizes and sweet, sweet victory!

Annual Exhibition Countdown

We've been hearing that lots of people are planning on putting pieces into our exhibition this year and that makes us super happy! This exhibition is for all our members, and is one of the ways we celebrate you and your work, and show the public what an awesome array of creative people enjoy the club. With that in mind, here's the weekly countdown...

7 Days until entries open on the 1st of June
81 Days until entries close on the 13th of August
90 Days until the exhibition opens on the 22nd of August

Term 2B Taster Classes

If you, or someone you know, would like to give wheel-throwing a go and can’t wait until Term 3 starts, we’ve got these short-format classes starting soon…

Friday Night Wheel Throwing Taster Class with David Kenny
31 May - 21 June 2024, 6pm – 9pm

Sunday Morning Wheel Throwing Taster Class with Sarah Steed
9 June – 7 July, 10am – 1pm
Please note that there will be no class on the 30th of June, due to Matariki weekend. The last class will be on the 7th of July.

Find more info and enrol on the class bookings page.

Upcoming workshops and events

Phoenix Wood Firing with Duncan Shearer – we still have a couple space left!
Saturday 8 June
: Prep day: organize wood, prep shelves and kiln
Saturday 15 June: packing kiln
Sunday 16 June: firing kiln
Saturday 22 June: unloading kiln
The wood will need to be collected, prep'd and stacked a month earlier (mid May) to ensure it is dry on the day.
A limited number of spaces are available to share the use of the kiln on this upcoming wood firing. There’s just two places left, so get online to put your name down.

Watercolour Decorating with Yasmin
Sunday 9th June 2024 1:30pm - 5:30pm
Learn watercolour painting on ceramics. Yasmin will bring the watercolours, palettes, and a variety of brushes, you bring bisqueware. Glaze firing is included in the ticket price. Yasmin will also bring some watercolours you can buy from her on the day. $5 each, cash or bank transfer on the day. Enrol here.

Personal Pou
A Matariki themed workshop with Dave Austin – 2 places left!
Saturday 22nd of June, 9.30am – 4.30pm.
Nau mai, haere mai, tauti mai for this Matariki-themed workshop with local artist and WSP member, Dave Austin. Everyone is welcome, Māori and non-Māori, experienced clay workers and complete beginners, WSP-members and non-members.
In this workshop Dave will share the story of Matariki with us and talk about its significance to himself and what it is to feel Matariki as a Māori. He will then guide us in creating our own slab-built and sgraffito’d Pou that you will get to decorate in a way that holds personal significance to you. Find more information and sign-up here.

Phoenix Wood Firing with Greg Barron
Saturday 3 August
: Prep day: organize wood, prep props, shelves, wadding etc
Saturday 10 August: wadding and loading pots into kiln
Sunday 11 August: firing kiln
Saturday 17 August: unloading kiln
We are thrilled to have Greg Barron as firemaster for this event. Participants must glaze their pieces prior to 10th August so that they're ready to load. Find more info and enrol here.

Studio Schedule

Here’s what’s happening next week… Check the online calendar though, just in case.

Saturday 25th of May
10am – 1pm – Play with Clay – thanks Tim and Kaitlyn!
10am – 1pm – Raku Club Firing – thanks David!

Sunday 26th of May
10am – 1pm, Class – Throwing Taster

Monday 27th of May
9.30am – 12.30pm, Class – Wheel Throwing
1pm – 4pm, Members’ Open Studio
6pm – 9pm, Class – Wheel Throwing

Tuesday 28th of May
9.30am – 4pm, Members’ Open Studio
6pm – 9pm, Play with Clay – Thank you Margaret, Trudie and John!

Wednesday 29th of May
9.30am – 12.30pm, Play with Clay – Thanks Yasmin and Larissa!
1pm – 4pm, Members’ Open Studio
6pm – 9pm, Class – Wheel Throwing and Decorating

Thursday 30th of May
9.30am – 12.30pm, Class – Sculpture Skills
1pm – 4pm, Members’ Open Studio
6pm – 9pm, Class – Hand Building

Friday 31st  of May
9.30am – 4pm, Members’ Open Studio
6pm – 9pm, Class – Wheel Throwing Taster

Saturday 1st of June
10am – 1pm, Play with Clay - thanks Teresa and Amy!
10am – 1pm, Raku Club Firing

Sunday 2nd of June
CLOSED for King’s Birthday Weekend

Monday 3rd of June
CLOSED for King’s Birthday Weekend

Tuesday 4th of June
9.30am – 4pm, Members’ Open Studio
6pm – 9pm, Play with Clay

Have a fab weekend – see you soon!


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