Clay Week '24

Sat 28 September - Fri 04 October • Whakatū Nelson

Don't miss out on the bigger and better Nelson Clay Week '24!

Building on last year's success and incorporating valuable lessons learned, we have 18 months of planning up our sleeves to make it extraordinary. Prepare for an incredible line-up of tutors, captivating exhibitions, interactive community engagements, and perhaps even some fiery spectacles.

Submissions for 2024 are open until October 1st, 2023, with the program and tickets available in March '24.

Stay informed by signing up for our email list.

Join us for an unforgettable experience!

How to get involved

Submissions open 1st July ’23 and close 1st October.

Arts Council Nelson are welcoming proposals for:

  • Workshops - We are looking for exciting and engaging workshops and demonstrations - for a diverse level of practice - from beginner to the advanced practitioner - to contribute to a stimulating programme.
    - Download a Workshop Submission Form Here.
  • Exhibitions - You are invited to propose innovative small scale exhibitions to populate a range of galleries and sites in Whakatū Nelson - for up to three weeks - sites are limited.
  • If you have something exciting and Clay related you’d like to pitch to us feel free to get in touch.
  • We also suggest signing up for our email list to keep updated.


Sponsor • Donate • Become a Patron • Volunteer

It takes a lot of work to pull together an event like Nelson Clay Week, and there's plenty of ways for you to help out!

Did you know that we are a registered charity, and that ticket sales cover only 30% of our costs? The remainder comes from grants, partnerships and individual donations from the community.

That’s where you can help.

Get in touch to find out how you can support us.

Clay Week '22

Nelson Clay Week was presented by Arts Council Nelson in association with Kiln Studio and with support from Creative New Zealand, Nelson Regional Development Agency and Nelson City Council.

For a week in October 2022 Nelson City was awash with all things clay!

Another big thank you to last years generous supporters.

Over 20 Workshops and Demos

Nelson Clay Week was proud to host a stellar line up of tutors from across Aotearoa for a series of remarkable workshops across 6 venues. 26 tutors offered workshops targeted at various levels of practice.

Attendees were invited to sit down with some of the legends of the ceramics industry or create new connections with fellow potters.

Our well-curated programme, along with the strong desire amongst the wider clay community for a national pottery event, saw workshops selling out fast!

Check out some of last years amazing tutors below.

Iza Lozano • Jenni Tarris • Michael Potter • Rick Rudd • Duncan Shearer • Paul Maseyk • Suzy Dunser • Joelle March • Peter Lange • Darryl Frost • Alex Wilkinson • Elena Renker • Royce McGlashen • Sarah Harrison • Fiona Jack • Jane McCulla • Jennifer Turnbull • Carla Ruka • Christine Boswijk • Elise Johnston • Sara Scott • Janeen Page • Wi Taepa • Fiona Sutherland • Karla Marie

A New Contemporary Award
- Pushing Clay Uphill – Forsyth Barr Ceramics Award & Exhibition

In planning a contemporary show for Nelson Clay Week, Arts Council Nelson initiated an exciting new opportunity for artists to stretch the boundaries of clay practice and challenge the more traditional views of this medium. Artists who worked solely with clay, or clay as their main raw material in their mixed media practice, were invited to use any technique of their choice to create two or three-dimensional pieces.

With a top prize of $8,000 generously sponsored by Forsyth Barr, Pushing Clay Uphill drew entries from over 200 artists.

29 artworks were selected for the final showcase, resulting in a celebration and recognition of innovative contemporary ceramic art.

The recipient of the inaugural Pushing Clay Uphill - Forsyth Barr Contemporary Ceramic Award was Elise Johnston for her work Square Peg, Round Hole.

Judges were Charlotte Davy, Head of Art at Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand, Royce McGlashen MBE, and Darryl Frost.

Winner - Elise Johnston with her piece Square Peg, Round Hole

Potters Square - Our Public Studio

All week a ‘Pottery Studio’ was running at the foot of Nelson’s church steps, creating a hub of activity where members of the public were given the opportunity to interact with practicing potters and sculptors.

Visitors to Potter’s Square were able to play with clay, watch demonstrations, and undertake supervised hands-on ‘have a go’ activities such as throwing on electric wheels.

Many hand-built ‘fish’ were also created, which will be turned into a public sculpture in 2023 (watch this space!)

Exhibitions & Interactions

Nelson Clay Week offered numerous clay-centric social events, talks, and exhibitions. A map was provided to help plan the week's activities.

Highlights included curated exhibitions at The Suter te Aratoi o Whakatu and the Refinery Art Space, showcasing Nelson's ceramic history and contemporary works.

A panel discussion at NMIT featured prominent figures in the field. The Potters Market in Queens Gardens featured demonstrations and live music.

Open Studios allowed visitors to explore 17 potters' spaces. Street projections showcased artists' work on public buildings.

Evening Chats provided humourous networking opportunities with a presentation by Peter Lange.

A potluck dinner and live wood firing event brought together artists from across New Zealand for networking and learning.

Get in touch!

For general enquiries you'll want to email
or you can call Arts Council Nelson at
+64 3 546 4840

& if you're shipping something you'll want to send it to
The Refinery ArtSpace
114 Hardy Street,
Nelson 7010