Check out the latest news at Waikato Society of Potters!


Potters' Press 26 August 2022

A lesson in clay suitability  |  Housekeeping  |  PWC changes and general studio access  |  Mighty Waikato Pottery Throwdown news  |  National woodfiring exhibition

Thank you to everyone who came to the throwdown!

We had an absolute hoot at last weekend's Mighty Waikato Pottery Throwdown. Thanks to everyone who came, our wonderful and witty judge Trish Seddon, those who rose to the challenges and participated, and the committee's hard work organising the event. We had a blast!

The winners

Congratulations to the champions:

Blindfolded throwing challenge: Caroline Hamilton
Handbuilding challenge: David Kenny
Handle (longest pulled) challenge: Tim Edwards
Wheel thrown egg cups challenge: Tim
Team challenge (batt and ball): Didi Chapman and David Kenny
Cleanest wheel challenge: Didi Chapman

Coming up in the studio

Play With Clay: Saturday 27 August 10am-1pm (includes Raku); Wednesday 31 August 9.30am-12.30pm 
no PWC on Tuesday 30 August

Open Studio: Monday-Wednesday 1-4pm; Friday 10am-1pm, 1-4pm

Also on this weekend: Teens workshop on Saturday afternoon.


Glazing 101 Workshop - 22 October
Nerikomi coloured clay workshop - 29 October

Some housekeeping

Rubbish and recycling

We would appreciate a little care around what goes into the recycling box. One of our team takes the recycling off-site to recycle along with their household waste. It means they have to sort the box which is often filled with things that are either not-recyclable or not clean, making it an unpleasant exercise.

Things that can not go in the box:

  • Takeaway coffee cups (have plastic lining so need to go to landfill, put them in the bin)
  • Tissue paper and paper towels
  • Packaging that has food residue or oil
  • Unwashed food or drink bottles, tins or cans - please rinse them well or take them home

Midrange green glaze

The latest batch of mid-range green glaze produces a particularly matt finish. The recipe was followed to a tee, but it is possible the manufacturers changes the source of something (maybe the China clay) and so levels of an ingredient have altered. This is supposed to be a satin rather than a glossy glaze, but it might surprise those who use it as it has been especially glossy for the last while. Be warned, this might not be for you if you are after a shiny surface!

Glazing mishaps

I know we harp on about careless glazing but we have to because it persists. We need to look after our kiln shelves because they cost $120 each to replace.

Our staff and volunteers spend a lot of time cleaning and tidying up sloppy glaze application. Margaret, in particular, can spend hours a week doing this, when her time could be better spent. We will be doing less of this going forward as it doesn't help beginners improve their skills. If your work remains on the shelves unfired, you may find a note inside to explain that it is because you need to fix the glazing.

If you have had this happen on multiple occasions, please consider enrolling in the next Glazing 101 workshop on 22 October.

Open Studio and support

This is a friendly reminder that Open Studio sessions are not supported sessions. Instead, they are for WSP members to come to work in the studio independently. If you need a little additional support or have a lot of questions about your techniques, please come to a Wednesday morning Play With Clay session when Yasmin is here. If you are a beginner, please consider enrolling in a class.

While we can answer the odd query, Open Studio time is often the only time when the team have to get studio jobs done. The studio assistants have busy schedules, are not in teaching positions during the days and are finding it hard to get through their usual jobs due to the volume of requests for help related to making and glazing techniques. While they are absolutely there to help you sign in, handle clay sales and show you how to measure your work, they are not tutoring during open studio sessions. It would be greatly appreciated if this was respected.

Ice cream and yoghurt containers

We need ice cream and yoghurt containers! It looks like we have a monster who eats them so our stash has almost disappeared. Our members need them for their studio sessions so if you are like your dairy, please save these containers for us and drop them in next time you are visiting.

Clay suitability

We endeavour to stock clay that is suitable for use in our kilns. We can't easily control clay that people bring to the studio. All we can do is ask that you check that your clay is suitable for firing to Cone 6. No less. If it doesn't say it clearly on the packaging, ask the supplier.

The image above is an illustration of what can happen when you put a low fire clay into our kilns - it destroys the work of other members, and it can also destroy our shelves and cause expensive damage to the kilns. In this case, these items have warped and melted onto adjacent work in the kiln, fusing the two together. Some drips also landed on the kiln shelf and have eaten into it. If these are your pieces, please have a chat with one of the staff members when you come in as we want to make sure that you have an understanding of the clay and glaze limitations of firing in our kilns going forward so that we can try to avoid these kinds of mistakes in the future.

National Woodfiing Exhibition

Calling all woodfirers!

26 January - 27 February 2023

Janet Smith is arranging an exhibition that will feature works made by woodfirers throughout New Zealand. Janet aims to feature the potter, their kiln and up to three pieces of work. This can include the work of others who help to fire the kiln. 

Duncan Shearer is compiling a video presentation so please contact Janet if you have video footage of the stacking or firing process in your kiln.

Work needed 10-13 January. Commission rate 40%.

Please email Janet for more information.


This product has been added to your cart