Kia ora,

It’s been a quieter, tougher year for our family – and the world. It seems longer than a year since I was printing out QR codes for the gallery opening.

Not so this summer! The gallery is open every weekend from 10 am – 4 pm until Christmas and then again from February 2023.

I am back working in the studio, kickstarted by attending the incredible Nelson Clay Week. What a job those guys did organising workshops, talks, and public engagement… with clay and amazing exhibitions of contemporary pottery sparking many conversations with fellow potters. I learnt so much to add to my practice from Carla Ruka and Duncan Shearer and am encouraged and back working alongside other studio potters. Look out for pottery studios all over NZ!

There are many artists teaching ceramics as well. Here in the Wairarapa, Carolina at Nidito NZ and King St Artworks have been at it for 25 years and are celebrating alongside local artists with Kotahitanga on again at Aratoi.

“Ghost Chess” is being exhibited there. I made chessboards last summer with a student worker, Cara, when it was too hot to paint the outside of the gallery. Though as the board took 2 days to glaze, I admit I am unlikely to continue with them! The Tararuas board was sold to a lovely local family who likes playing chess together.

And isn’t it great we can all go back to reusable coffee cups again? The wonderful Peoples in Newtown Wellington are not only continuing with my cups and beakers in the café but are also back retailing. Check out the pink and turquoise versions they have for sale. Dori and Leo are always a delight to visit and the coffee is the best.

Here in Carterton I have been throwing enough pots on the wheel to open the gallery again and will continue adding kiln loads in a more continuous way around the process of batch-making and glazing. I have been trialling replacement white clays for a few years now and finally have one that fits my celadon glazes. It’s a bit more of a challenge to throw this clay as it is shorter and more thixotropic but beautifully white and I have had fun with contrasts…and cleaning!

One delightful project was making a ‘secret’ Little Jewels donation again for Aratoi. Sam Ludden, whom I used to work for (and still miss) once told me you always need some art idea in your head whilst making. With potting, there is a lot of repetition which becomes a rhythm of your hands and body, and though this winter I did not make any art pieces, I did have Little Jewels in mind.

I’ve also begun testing a new exciting purple glaze!

Below are some pics of pottery being made in the studio recently. Come visit and pick them up, see how they fit your hand – there is nothing like experiencing it in real life, now that we all can again!

Ngā mihi,