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Mānawatia a Matariki

As we head into this Matariki weekend, we’d like to reflect on the mahi and contributions of our committee members, volunteers, artists in residence, tutors, members and all our visitors over the past year. We’re grateful to work in a place where people are learning, creating and sharing their time, energy and experiences with clay so generously. Thank you to each and every one of you for bringing your wairua and korero to our studio, it fills our hearts.

This past Saturday, we had Dave Austin leading a Matariki themed workshop called Personal Pou. We had visitors from across the Waikato and also from Auckland and Coromandel join us for the day, and the overwhelming feedback was that the WSP was a warm and welcoming place to come to. Thanks to all who make it so.

Check out the pics below of some of the workshop happenings, as well as all the other news and tidbits.

The Mighty Waikato Pottery Throwdown – sponsored by CCG

It’s getting closer! The annual throwdown is on the 6th of July and all members are invited to come and join us for more fun than you can throw a slip-sodden sponge at. Here’s the comps we’re holding. They’re FREE for all our members. Just bring a kai to share. x

  • Tallest structure – an individual hand-building challenge, build the tallest piece you can in 10 minutes with your allocated piece of clay.

  • Blindfolded Hand building – no limits, other than you can’t see what you’re doing. You have 10 minutes to build anything you’d like.

  • Tiniest teapot – how small can you make a teapot? Can you make it functional? Can you win a prize for your tiny teapot?

  • The Two Person Throw – two people, using one hand each, making a pot together. Will it end in triumph or trantrum?

  • The Blindfolded Throw – you get to use all your hands, but you can’t see what they’re doing. Have a go at throwing a pot to the same size and shape as the demo piece.

  • The Transformation Challenge – take a pre-thrown bowl and have at it, get as creative as you please and transform it into your own masterpiece.

  • The Clay Bouquet – make a pottery posy, pretty as a picture.

  • The two person handle pull – how many potters does it take to pull a handle? In this instance, two!

  • The Throwing and Hand Building Mash-up – Hand builders grab your wheel thrower, wheel-throwers grab your hand builder. One of you will throw a pot, the other will alter and decorate it.

  • The Scariest Thing – get wild, get dark and give the judge nightmares.

  • The Tag Team Bonkers Build – it’s all hands on the clay for the team collab challenge. Choose your starting team member, then pass the build onto the next person in the team to add their creative flair. The catch is you only get 2 minutes each.

With huge thanks to pottery supply company CCG for supplying some wee prizes for the day, and to local potter and legend, Janet Smith who will be judging all your crazy and clever creations.

Another new workshop - hooray!!

Adding and subtracting - it's not maths, it's Raku!
Build a large-scale piece then come back to raku fire it 2 weeks later

This is a two-day workshop with each day taking place on separate weekends:
Saturday 3rd August, 10am - 4pm, build your piece
Saturday 17th August, 10am - 4pm, raku fire your piece

Local artist, Dave Austin, creates large-scale sculptural works using slab and other hand-building techniques, adding and subtracting shapes to turn his abstract thoughts into abstract reality. He has a passion for raku firing these pieces, committing them to the flame and smoking them in combustibles, for breathtaking and sometimes unpredictable results.

On the first day of this 2-day workshop, Dave will guide you in creating a base structure of up to 50cm high, which you will then alter, cutting pieces away and adding other shapes. You might choose to take inspiration from Dave’s works or to use his techniques to build something from your own imagination.

On the second workshop day, 2-weeks later, Dave will demonstrate the glazing, firing, and reduction methods that are specific to raku. You will then get to glaze and fire your own pieces in the raku kilns.

Find out more here.

Members’ Meet, Greet and Eat with Greg Barron

Janet Smith hosts an evening for WSP Members
Saturday 13th of July, 5.30pm - 9pm
The Woolshed Pottery, 37 Kairangi Road, Roto-o-rangi, Cambridge

Greg Barron and Janet Smith warmly invite you to an evening with Greg – a potluck dinner at Janet's studio: The Woolshed Pottery. It has a kitchen, toilets, pizza oven etc so come along and enjoy a casual conversation with Greg Barron – one of New Zealand's Master Potters.

Please bring a dish to be shared and your own drink. Water and non-alcoholic drinks will be provided. There'll be a raffle too so bring along a few gold coins.

No charge, but please register your interest here so we can have an indication of numbers.

Studio Schedule

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

Friday 28th of June
CLOSED for Matariki public holiday

Saturday 29th of June
10am – 1pm, Play with Clay – extra special thanks to Tim and Lydia for opening up over the long weekend!

Monday 1st of July
9.30am – 4pm, Members’ Open Studio
6pm – 8pm, Class – Kiln loading and licence

Tuesday 2nd of July
9.30am - 4pm, Members’ Open Studio
6pm – 9pm, Play with Clay – Thank you Margaret and Patsy!
6pm – 9pm, Raku Club firing

Wednesday 3rd of July
9.30am – 12.30pm, Play with Clay – Thanks Yasmin!
1pm – 4pm, Members’ Open Studio
6pm – 9pm, Class – Glazing

Thursday 4th of July
9.30am –4pm, Members’ Open Studio

Friday 5th of July
CLOSED for Diploma

Saturday 6th of July
10am – 4pm, OMGGG, it’s the Mighty Waikato Pottery Throwdown!

Sunday 7th of July
10am – 1pm, Class – Wheel Throwing Taster

Mā te wā, and stay safe friends x


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