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Annual Potters Group Exhibition

The Annual Potters Group Exhibition is a highly anticipated event featuring work by our talented potters. A great opportunity to purchase some fantastic local work. Artists work in a variety of different styles, so there is always something for every taste.

Opening: Friday 23rd October — 5.30 pm
Duration: 24th October — 14th November

Open Tuesday to Friday 9 am — 3.30 pm
Saturday 10 am — 2 pm

Supported by funding from Rotorua Civic Arts Trust.

Rotorua Potters Group (a potted history)
In the beginning there used to be a potters’ club located in the Wychwood Nursery in Wychwood Crescent. Apparently they had an “interesting” diesel fired kiln which eventually collapsed. It seemed symbolic, as the club never recovered.

A member of many years, Selwyn Hattrick, tells how he arrived in Rotorua and enrolled in a pottery class that was held at the Boy’s High School. There were about forty participants. According to Selwyn they didn’t learn much, but enough to give them a taste and enthusiasm for making pottery. Bev Cave was the mover and shaker. She organized them into a club. They rented a tiny room at the back of the Pererika Street Scouts den. There they installed an old kiln, and there was no looking back. There were even night classes!

After some years the club had outgrown the scout den and were fortunate to acquire the use of a double garage that was located exactly where our pottery studio at the Arts Village is now situated (although that was far into the future). Talk about meant to be. This garage was constructed of galvanized iron and had no insulation. In winter they froze, and in summer they baked. The club was very strong, having a membership at times numbering up to forty.

By about 2005 the public had lost its taste for pottery and club membership had also reduced significantly. It was at this time the Arts Village concept passed the planning stages. Three studios were to be constructed exactly on the site of the beloved garage. While construction was in progress they relocated to temporary premises in Ngongataha. During these few months the club membership plummeted to about eight.

On shifting into Studio 3 here at The Arts Village they became the occupants of a wonderful facility but had few members to appreciate it. Betty Millar and helpers conducted nightclasses and childrens’ classes. They built the membership back to about twenty, but it was hard work. By 2008 the club was in danger of going into recess. Fortunately, Selwyn had retired and was looking for a project. He became Club President and enthusiastically drove the club forward, voluntarily teaching night classes for 4 years which brought in new members and new ideas.

The Club often runs specialist workshops and over the last 5 years especially has focused on classes for locals at a reasonable price. Our tech savvy member, Helen Bennett, has really put the club on the online map and this, plus pottery coming back into fashion again, has resulted in renewed public interest. We are in good heart with a membership of near fifty and rising.

In 2017 we got a new, young President, Nick Feisst. We have a growing membership which is excited about what the world of ceramics has to offer. It is such a hands on thing to do in this age of glossy screens and mass production.

We hope you enjoy the show. We have certainly enjoyed making it.

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