Check out the latest news at Waikato Society of Potters!


Latest from the studio and last dash for woodfiring

Ceramic bowl with lid. The lid is open and leaning to and against the right side of the bowl. The bowl is blue on the inside and orange on the outside with etched white sgraffito patterning
Woodfired bowl and lid by Therese May

Studio theft

We are sad to report that we have had a cash theft from the studio. Friday was a quiet studio day but someone still managed to locate our cash box and steal it. Mostly, we are sad that this has happened to our little community pottery where we are working to make ceramic arts accessible to the community. It is also tough for us as a charity working on limited resources and feeling stretched this financial year. Please don't be offended or frustrated if you notice us tightening up on our security procedures:

  • Please make sure you always sign in and out, even if you are popping in for only a minute;

  • Please don't leave the back door open - sorry, we know it is hot in the summertime;

  • Please look after your own belongings and valuables in the studio.

  • During the coming week or longer, please try to avoid paying with large denominations of notes as we are even more short of change than usual. Being a charity, withdrawing cash from the bank is a little complicated. Please bring, exact cash, smaller notes or Eftpos. We appreciate your consideration.

Compulsory use of potters' marks

From the beginning of Term 1 (13 February 2023), it will be compulsory to use a makers' mark on your work and add your mark to the booklet of identifying marks which can be located on the signing in table. This rule will apply to class students and workshop attendees too.

Consider not using simple initials as your initials are unlikely to be unique. 

This will

  • help to reduce the number of cases of mistaken identity with potters accidentally taking work that they did not make. This happens more than you might think and is upsetting for the real maker.

  • help us to identify and contact makers of work that has needs some more work before we can fire it (eg too much glaze).

From 13 February onwards, we will not fire work that has no identifying mark. 

Payment for class bookings

This is a friendly reminder that booking a spot in a class requires prompt payment. We have quite a few people who have either booked and selected to pay by bank transfer, or asked their tutor if the team could reserve a spot for them in the next term. 

In order to secure your place, payment is required within 3 days from the date of booking, unless an alternative arrangement was agreed in advance. Some of our classes have long waiting lists so, if you change your mind, we would appreciate you letting us know, 

This week in the studio

  • Last bisque for the upcoming wood firing is Tuesday/Wednesday this week.

  • The Phoenix wood firing is next weekend 27, 28 and 29 January. A few places are left so please sign up quickly if you want to participate. It's probably too late to make enough (about a banana box load) to register, but if you have a stash ready to go, you can still sign up.

  • Reminder that for a few weeks, Tuesday evening Play With Clay has moved to Wednesday evening. Normal Tuesday evenings will resume on 14 February.

  • The online calendar is being kept updated. Please refer to the calendar to check what's on. There are lots of Open Studio sessions over the coming weeks before term begins:

Why wood fire?

by Therese May

The Phoenix wood fire kiln is an important learning resource exclusively for WSP members. It is also the only one in the CBD of Hamilton enabling centralised access to it. Participating in a wood firing is a great learning opportunity that will further your clay practise through developing an understanding of how clay is fired, learning new techniques for surface decoration and developing new shapes.

Fluting on the wheel - Exposed throwing rings
Fluting on the wheel - Exposed throwing rings

Glazing techniques that are no fuss and can create drama with a contrast of colour and texture. No waxing; just simply pour in, tip out and dip top if needed.

Learn new and exciting techniques with surface decoration (inlay slip, sgraffito, fluting on the wheel, exposed throwing rings)

Inlay slip
Inlay slip


A soda firing is a three-day event that offers you not only learning opportunities but also friendship, fun and food.

Friendship built on a mutual interest in clay and fire that extends your usual circle of clay buddies. Make important connections with other potters. 

Fun that comes from working together as a team to produce interesting and new results. Conversations which add to your understanding and knowledge of clay. Swapping ideas. Sharing ideas. You can also try stacking or laying your pots on their side to create exciting decorative results.

Food shared: kai is always something to look forward to at wood firings as members showcase their culinary delights or provide an array of delicious kai.

We aim to hold at least one wood firing per term in 2023 so there will be future opportunities to get involved.

Clay + Ash exhibition

Just a reminder that this is opening this week.


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