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Potters' Press 19 November 2021

Diploma Assessments | Studio access at Level 2 | COVID-19 vaccination survey | Sharing members' store links | Awards and Exhibitions

Level 2 at WSP

Hooray Hooray Hooray!

We are open again! Sure, we are distancing; there are limited numbers of people in the studio at a time; we are rubbing our hands raw with all the hand-washing and surface sanitizing and we are masked up. But we are open, and chatting to each other in person, and people are getting muddy with clay again and so there is much to smile about.

Diploma Assessments

Despite the lockdowns, some of the Diploma students had their end of year assessments today. There will be another round of assessments in a couple of weeks' time as some students were given an extension due to the disruption caused. It was such a shame we couldn't invite everyone in to celebrate a year of hard work, as is usually the case. When restrictions are eased, we will be sure to celebrate their hard work and amazing achievements. In the meantime, we would like to congratulate them. It hasn't been an easy year and they have done a remarkable job. Rob couldn't make it in person due to travel restrictions, so there is a little but more work to be done online to complete the assessment process.

Studio access at level 2 - when, how, what

If you missed all the details about opening this week, please refer to Tuesday's news post for what's happening now we are at Level 2. 

There have been a couple of updates since that announcement about studio operations at Level 2:

  • Please bring your own towels - while COVID-19 Delta is in the community, we want to reduce the risk of transmission. While most of you know that you should bring your own towel for clay work, some don't. We will not be lending towels for the foreseeable future, although there will be towels at the sinks for drying clean hands. If you use a towel at the wheel or table, please bring your own (and your apron).
  • While we are opening a very limited number of studio booking spots due to distancing requirement, we are limiting these to adults (aged 16 and over) at the moment. This is because, in the past, some volunteers have struggled with children unattended in the studio during PWC sessions. Therefore, we are asking that children not attend open studio slots as it can raise issues for maintaining distancing. Sorry, we hope this is very temporary.

Saturday studio time

  • Teresa and TIm have volunteered to come on Saturday to open the studio. There are still some spots available (members only) for hand-building and wheel throwing but it is essential to book a spot.
  • If you would like to glaze, please check call Stephen to check if there are any remaining time slots today - 07 838 1950.
  • If you are doing a quick pick-up or drop-off - you don't need to book but please measure in advance for firing so you can do a quick payment as we have to limit the number of people on site. 

Next week

  • There are studio spots available for members only on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week: book here...
  • Yasmin will be here for the Wednesday morning session next week. As numbers are so reduced she has kindly offered to volunteer her time to help. However, because numbers are strictly limited we are keeping these sessions for members only and booking is essential. Please book a spot using the link above.

COVID-19 Vaccination Survey

The Government has announced the next stage of the COVID-19 response plan to provide a pathway out of lockdown and give vaccinated New Zealanders more freedom. Along with many other organisations the committee are currently thinking about how we will work when New Zealand moves to this 'Green/Orange/Red' COVID-19 Protection Framework. 

 As a public-facing facility, we have a responsibility to ensure everyone is safe when on site. You will be aware of the restrictions we have during the current COVID-19 levels. The upcoming Framework will also effect on how we work in the future when it is implemented. 

We have created a questionnaire and would like your feedback to help us with our discussions with regard to creating a vaccination policy. Your feedback is entirely anonymous. It will only take a few minutes and we would very much appreciate it if you could complete it.

Sharing members' ceramics store links

We are often asked to recommend a local maker of mugs or bowls since people know there are talented makes in our community. We also want to make it easy for people to buy locally, particularly as we approach the holiday season when people are buying gifts. We will be offering to share links to our member's online sales platforms (ceramics only). If you would to be added to our list of people who get a wee shout-out, please send us your details. To begin, a member and friend of WSP (and one of our talented tutors) Sylvia Sinel is opening a physical shop at her studio in Ngahinapouri and we can't wait to check it out.

Sylvia's shop will be open on Sundays 10am-3pm leading up to X-mas and other days on appointment.

Ceramic art & design for sale, make your own kit sets, gift vouchers for pottery workshops and a big clearance table (for as long stock lasts).  Eftpos available. The working studio will also be open to view for those who want to have a look "behind the scene" where all the action happens. Please visit for more information. 

Awards and Exhibitions

In spite of COVID-19, awards and exhibitions season is busy. Last week we mentioned a couple of regional exhibitions that have just opened and are worth checking out. If you missed that, read about it in last week's news. And now there is more to report:

Portage 2021

Congratulations to all the finalists in this year's Portage Ceramic Awards but we are of course particularly proud of WSP's Duncan Shearer and Alex Wilkinson! We are so very proud of you.
The Portage 2021 Finalists are: Greg Barron, Blue Black, Phil Brooks, Oliver Cain, Madeleine Child, Andrea du Chatenier, Liz Fea, Mel Ford, Emelia French, Mark Goody, Fiona Jack, Jino Jeong, Chuck Joseph, Keum-Sun Lee & Sang-Sool Shim, Matt McLean, Teresa Peters, Louise Rive, John Roy, Rick Rudd, Takaaki Sakaguchi, Aaron Scythe, Liz Sharek, Duncan Shearer, Rebecca Steedman, Marie Strauss and David Milne, Toby Twiss, Janna van Hasselt, Alex Wilkinson and Ben Wilson. 

National Contemporary Art Award 2021

18 September 2021 - 20 February 2022
Now we can move a bit more freely, this is an exhibition worth visiting - but it's also online. The National Contemporary Art Award is doing things a little differently in 2021. For the very first time, the Campbell Smith Memorial People's Choice Award is being decided by online votes as well as voting in person. Like your favourite artworks to add a vote

Molly Morpeth Canaday Award 3D 2022 - Entries closing soon

Presented by Arts Whakatāne and exhibition partner, Te Kōputu a te whanga a Toi - Whakatāne Library and Exhibition Centre. This annual non-acquisitive award is dedicated to excellence across contemporary and traditional painting and drawing and 3D genres in alternate years. The award has developed over 30 years and sits credibly within the New Zealand arts community. A high standard of work is selected to form the exhibition from nationwide entries by three pre-selection judges working independently. For participants, the award offers professional development opportunities to artists by showcasing their practice to peers, collectors, critics, museum curators, the media and the community at large.


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