Nelson Clay Week

NELSON CLAY WEEK

NELSON CLAY WEEK

NELSON CLAY WEEK

NELSON CLAY WEEK

NELSON CLAY WEEK

NELSON CLAY WEEK

Purpose

Two years ago Arts Council Nelson & Kiln Studio had a wild concept, to throw together a 9 day pottery festival with ceramists from all over the country coming together to learn, teach, build new connections and have a bloody good time doing it!

A roaring success, we are once again thrilled to be announcing the follow up event for 2024 which we are planning to be bigger, better and muddier!

Please take a look at the plethora of activities on offer and join us for Clay Week this September.

Pushing Clay

27 September— 19 October
Forsyth Barr
Find out more →

Forsyth Barr and Arts Council Nelson are proud to announce the Pushing Clay | Forsyth Barr Contemporary Ceramics Award.

A $10,000 award for artworks that push the envelope of clay practice and challenge the more traditional views of this medium.

The Forsyth Barr Contemporary Ceramics Award is a cash prize of $8,000 for the Supreme Winner with two $1000 cash prizes for runners up.

September 28th — October 04th

our Workshops

SEE ALL WORKSHOPS

Tutor Profiles

Aaron Scythe

Aaron Scythe

Aaron Scythe was born in Auckland and after leaving school in 1986 became a slip-caster at Halls Industries, making mainly ceramic lampshades. In 1998, he began a Craft Design course at Carrington Polytechnic and a year later went to Sydney to study at East Sydney Tech Ceramic School.

He moved to Sturt Craft Centre, Mittagong, NSW in 1993 for work and self-directed study. While there, he built and fired an anagama (wood-fired) kiln, also spending short periods in Dubbo, NSW.

In 1995, he first visited Japan for further study and in 1997 rented a studio in Mashiko, building a second anagama kiln. He established a permanent studio in Mashiko in 2006 and built a third wood-fired kiln, but following the Fukushima meltdown in 2011, Aaron, his Japanese wife, Soari, and their two children came to New Zealand to live. He set up a studio in Te Aroha in 2012, moving to Whanganui in 2014 where he is currently living and potting.

Aaron has studied many aspects of the Japanese Mino style of pots including Oribe, Kizeto, and Hikidashi techniques and shino glazes. Greatly influencing the philosophical approach and techniques which can be seen in his work today. Aaron’s current work reflects both his New Zealand and Māori heritage. During the sixteen years he lived in Japan, he had over sixty solo exhibitions and since his return to New Zealand, Aaron has continued to exhibit in Japan as well as exhibiting in this country, the UK, and USA. With his work being widely collected worldwide.

Anneke Borren

Anneke Borren

Anneke attended the Ilam School of Fine Arts, Christchurch in 1966, worked in the Royal Dutch Delft Factory, Delft in 1967 and in 1968 and 1969 she worked in Denmark and Sweden. Between 1977 and 1981 she toured and studied in the USA, Mid and South Americas, Southern Europe and the UK.

Between 1971 and 1993, Anneke was married to sculptor/carver Owen Mapp and has two daughters, Tahi and Tamara. She was a lecturer at Whitirea Polytechnic, Porirua (1988-1993) and the Education Officer and Public Programmes Coordinator at the Dowse Art Museum (1995-2000). She was president of the New Zealand Society of Potters (1997-2000) and was made a life member in 2011.

Her work has been illustrated in numerous books and it is held in private collections and museums throughout New Zealand and around the world including the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa and Museum Booymans van Beunigen, Rotterdam.

Anneke has taken the quintessentially Dutch, Delft technique and reinvented it in a contemporary style. Delft is known for its on-glaze decorated ware which was developed in the 16th century reaching a peak in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Callum Trudgeon & Matilda Halley

Callum Trudgeon & Matilda Halley

Callum Trudgeon Bio:

Callum Trudgeon started pottery in 2014 when he became the first fully trained apprentice at the Leach Pottery in St Ives since it reopened as a charitable trust in 2008. He trained and worked there as a production potter for eight years.

Early in his career, Callum found himself drawn to wood fired pottery. In 2018, he took a one year sabbatical from the Leach specifically to learn about wood firing. He spent three months in Bizen, Japan with potter Kazuya Ishida making British style standard ware using the local materials and firing techniques.

Then he spent seven months at Guldagergaard international ceramic research centre, Denmark, on their Young Wood Fire Artist in Residence programme.

In December 2022, Callum moved to the Coromandel to set up a production pottery at Driving Creek.

Matilda Halley Bio:

Matilda started potting whilst living in Japan and later in India. She arrived in Coromandel in 2020 and was taken in by the pottery community there.

She apprenticed for Petra Meyboden where she learned about production techniques and woodfiring with salt and soda.

She spent 2023 in St. Ives, training at The Leach Pottery before returning to Driving Creek, where she is currently working with Callum Trudgeon on the production.

Carla Ruka

Carla Ruka

Carla Ruka, of Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Whātua, and Tauiwi (European) descent, is inspired by Hineukurangi - the Māori clay deity, the natural world, and her whakapapa. As a clay artist since 2000, Carla takes delight in creating sculptural works and has developed her own unique style of coiling that showcases a Māori perspective. In 2022, Carla was selected by the Ceramic Association of NZ as the Touring Potter for "Coil Aotearoa," a year-long tour of large-scale sculpture workshops, artist presentations, and community outreach programmes throughout various regions in Aotearoa, funded by Creative NZ.

Carla is a strong advocate for indigenous ceramics and has actively participated in national and international projects, fostering connections with other indigenous artists worldwide. Notably, she engaged in an exchange with the Lapita potters in Fiji in 2023 and more recently in Seneca, New York State. As the owner of Carla Ruka Limited, a creative arts business, and the Principal Cultural Advisor to Te Tuhi Art Gallery in Pakuranga, Auckland, Carla takes on multiple projects, including teaching kapa haka and mentoring. She has also hosted an online ceramic class project called "Make a cup" and collaborated with weaver Beronia Scott to create the large-scale art installation "Ka Mua, Ka Muri" at the Cordis Hotel in Auckland.

In addition to her artistic pursuits, Carla is known for her curatorial work. In 2020, she curated the exhibition "NUku" at Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery, and in 2024, she curated "Hineukurangi" at The Suter Art Gallery in Whakatū, Nelson.

Carla actively engages with her communities and holds various roles, including being a member of Ngā Kaihanga Uku - Māori Clay Artist Collective, a board member of Papatūnga (Te Tuhi Artist Programme), a committee member of O Wairoa Marae, and a former director and current committee member of Auckland Studio Potters.

Darryl Frost

Darryl Frost

Darryl has been a full-time potter/sculptor since the late 1980s. He grew up in Leigh and travelled to Nelson to study at NMIT in 1989, majoring in ceramics. He has been working as a full-time sculptor/potter ever since. His distinctive style of Anagama wood firing has gained him national and international recognition, as well as several awards, including a Diploma of Honour from Korea. He has also pursued his passion for large-scale multi-media sculpture works, many of which can be found throughout New Zealand in public and private collections, including the Wallace Arts Trust.

Dorothy Waetford

Dorothy Waetford

Dorothy lives in Matapouri, a small coastal community in Northland, Aotearoa New Zealand. Her ceramic work is produced primarily for group shows featuring Māori and or Indigenous artists such as Ngā Kaihanga Uku (collective of Māori clayworkers), Te Atinga (the contemporary Māori Visual Arts network) and in support of iwi arts initiatives such as the Toi Ngāpuhi Art Exhibition and Te Ahuareka Ngatihine Festival.

Inspired by growth, adaptation and evolution, her work tends to be figurative and sculptural, personal reflections of cultural identity.

Elena Renker

Elena Renker

Born in Germany in 1959, Elena moved to New Zealand in the early 80's. Rediscovering pottery when her youngest child started school, joining the Auckland Studio Potters where she completed a Diploma of Ceramic Art run by the Otago Polytechnic.

Lately, his focus has been on making shino glazed bowls and cups. To her, a bowl is the ultimate domestic item, representing nourishment and sustenance. She aims for her bowls to be strong yet subtle with a timeless quality, as if they had been on the kitchen table feeding the family for a long time. Living on a farm north of Auckland gives her the opportunity to use clay from her own land.

Faceting the exterior of the pot opens up the clay with all its impurities and creates an interesting surface for the shino glaze to interact with. The iron oxide decoration provides an extra focal point.

Fiona Tunicliff

Fiona Tunicliff

Fiona obviously had a misspent youth, dragging her family around zoos, aquariums and anywhere that she could observe and photograph animals.

There is still a lot for her to learn, both about form and clay. The fact that she can use stamps, images and textures to add a narrative to the surface is an added bonus.

Fiona has been doing this for about 30 years now and see no reason to change.

Graham Hay

Graham Hay

Graham Hay grew up on a Canterbury high country farm with dirt under his fingernails and a family travel gene. Infected with the clay bug at high school, he studied it at Dunedin Teachers Collage, then majoring in it at both Edith Cowan and Curtin Universities.

His overseas travel became habitual: while based in Western Australia, Graham has led paper clay workshops, symposiums and conferences across 14 countries and exhibited in 16 countries (including seven biennales).

He has been invited to write on paper clay for ceramics journals in nine countries, and features in 22 textbooks. A leader in the quiet paper clay revolution, Graham regularly teaches paper clay techniques within community groups, schools and his Perth studio in Western Australia.

Hamish Jackson

Hamish Jackson

Hamish Jackson started working with clay at Winchcombe Pottery in England, where he is from. He followed the pottery dream to North Carolina, where he completed a four-year apprenticeship with Mark Hewitt.

In 2023, Hamish earned an MFA from Utah State University. He now lives with his wife and daughters in Oregon, where he is the artist in residence at Pleasant Hill Pottery.

Hamish has studied and exhibited across the world, including England, Italy, Thailand, Japan and the United States.

Holly Rose-Morgan & Pamela Ansouth

Holly Rose-Morgan & Pamela Ansouth

Holly Morgan is a potter based in Napier, Te Matau-au-Māui. She is also known by her successful brand ‘morganmade’ where she has built a pottery business selling her handthrown standard ware range to over 10 retailers nationwide.

She has extensive experience in production potting and has made serve ware for some of New Zealand’s award winning restaurants and collaborated with many reputable brands.

After four years of working out of her retail store selling her own work in Napiers CBD, she is now enjoying participating in exhibitions and extending her knowledge in woodfiring, large scale pot making, and is planning a research trip to Japan in the near future.

Jack Troy

Jack Troy

Jack Troy is a potter, teacher, and writer, from Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, USA, where he started the ceramics program at Juniata College and taught for 39 years. His two anagama kilns are fired three times per year. He wrote Salt Glazed Ceramics, Wood Fired Stoneware and Porcelain, two collections of poetry, and over 100 articles and book reviews for ceramics publications.

In addition to leading more than 260 workshops and visiting 13 countries professionally, he received NCECA’s [National Council for Education in the Ceramics Arts] Excellence in Teaching award in 2014. His article, “Courting Indigo” appears in the current issue of Ceramics Art and Perception.

Jaime Jenkins

Jaime Jenkins

Jaime hand-builds stoneware pieces that push the definitions of what clay can and should do. Teetering on the edges of functionality and fragility, her works take on structural, organic and intricate forms. Chain linked works and bells are frequent subjects in Jaime’s practice, objects that create movement and sound. These sit alongside dense architectural pieces that can be used as stools, shelves and tables, or works that simply exist in isolation as large sculptures.

Janeen Page

Janeen Page

The industrialisation of both materials and products over the last century has taken us so far from source that we forget that the objects we cohabit with have a relationship with the land around us. However, potters have developed and maintained a relationship with their local environment for sourcing their materials.

The Taranaki landscape has been a rich source of glaze materials for Janeen Page. Working with one glaze for over 15 years gave her an understanding of her local geology and constituents in glaze making. In 2020, further study into New Zealand rock glazes expanded her knowledge of the regional palette available to us throughout New Zealand.

Janet Smith & Maureen Alison

Janet Smith & Maureen Alison

Long-time friends Janet and Maureen have been making pots and firing together for over 30 years and are absolute legends in the game. Janet has an impressive selection of kilns on her property, including a large Anagama, and is currently in the process of building another wood/oil/gas salt kiln.

Jennie Bate

Jennie Bate

Jennie Bate is a primary school teacher, artist, and owner of Kōwhai Art Studio. She has been teaching art to children throughout Whakatū in various locations and schools, including The Suter Art Gallery, Nelson Community Potters, and her school holiday programs at Kōwhai Art Studio.

Jennie is passionate about creating a vibrant space for children and young people to fearlessly embrace their unique creativity.

Karuna Douglas

Karuna Douglas

Karuna Douglas, from Ngati Īnia, possesses an overwhelming passion and exceptional skills in the development of glazes. As a result, she has created a remarkably diverse and beautiful range of glazes and surfaces.

Her sculptural work, known for its simple architectural forms and distinctive macrocrystalline glazes, has gained recognition. The graphic intensity of Karuna's creations is heavily influenced by her multi-cultural upbringing.

Marama Myrick

Marama Myrick

Marama makes wheel thrown tableware in Nelson and has been working with wild clays since she started pottery seven years ago. She was a 2023 Portage finalist with her wild clay entry. She is interested in exploring the unique properties wild clay can offer.

Richard Stratton

Richard Stratton

Richard Stratton was born in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1970 and graduated from Otago School of Art in 1993.

Since 1994, he has lived in Wellington, where on his property in Karori he has purpose built his own studio in his back yard.

He has been awarded the Dowse Art Museum Deane Award for Decorative Arts & Design in 2010 and won the Premier Award at the Portage Ceramic Awards in 2017.

His work is included in the collections of Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand, Auckland Museum, Dowse Art Museum, Wallace Arts Trust, and private collections in New Zealand and overseas.

Richard took up an artist’s residency at the International Ceramic Research Centre in Guldagergaard, Denmark in 2015. In 2017-2018, Living History, an exhibition of his work commissioned by the Dowse Art Museum toured nationwide. Richard has been represented by Anna Miles Gallery (Auckland) since 2006.

Ronald Boersen

Ronald Boersen

Ronald Boersen is a potter, ceramic artist, glaze nerd, and educator. In his ceramic work, he explores the materiality of clay – freezing a moment of creation in fire. His pots are functional in nature, though they hope to evoke an experience beyond the mere utilitarian, exploring touch and texture, creating a connection to the maker’s hands.

Scott Brough

Scott Brough

Scott Brough is a potter living in Heretaunga Hastings, producing an evolving range of functional items. He is inspired by Japanese pottery and ancient artefacts, and seeks to create pottery that reveals itself slowly over time and use.

Stevei Houkāmau

Stevei Houkāmau

Stevei Houkāmau (Ngāti Porou, Te whānau-ā-Apanui) is an uku artist based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington Region. Working primarily with clay since 2011, Stevei's focus on uku stems from its ability to evoke ancestral and spiritual connections to the whenua. Her work explores the relationship between tāngata (people), tipuna (ancestors), and whenua (land), reflecting the vital relationship tangata whenua hold with the environment.

Stevei has exhibited and has works in collections both nationally and abroad. She has proudly represented Aotearoa at FESTPAC in Guahan and Various Indigenous Art Gatherings. Notably, Stevei was awarded the Kingii Tuheitia Portraiture Award for 2023 and most recently held a solo exhibition at Objectspace, Auckland.

Suzy Dunser

Suzy Dunser

Suzy's work is based on vessel forms, and is usually functional. Working with a variety of clays and firing methods, taking the opportunity to wood and salt/soda fire when she can.

She completed the Otago Polytechnic distance Diploma in Ceramics at Auckland Studio Potters in 2011, and has worked as a maker and tutor since then. Suzy has been involved in the New Zealand pottery community in a variety of ways over the following years, most recently joining the committee of the Waikato Society of Potters and teaching locally in Paeroa.

Tim Grocott

Tim Grocott

Taus Ceramic creates handcrafted ceramics that are modern in design yet functional and long-lasting. Each piece comes from an approach in which everyday versatility is equal to elegance and simplicity. Tim Grocott works from his home studio in Waipapa, Kerikeri, turning raw clay into fine ceramics.

Yasmin Davis

Yasmin Davis

Yasmin Davis (- Franzmayr) has been a potter in Hamilton/Tamahere for 14 years now. She grew up in Germany and immigrated with her family to NZ in 1987. Creativity in many forms and nature has been a constant throughout her life and a never-ending source of inspiration. Moving to the Waikato in 2010 and living rurally for the last 12 years has impacted her ceramic art practice further. A special interest in ceramic surface decoration with a strong influence of NZ native birds and plants has been a significant theme for the last 10 years.

There is a joyful thirst for learning new surface decorating techniques. Yasmin studied the Diploma of Ceramic Arts for 4 years (2012-1015) at the Waikato Society of Potters. During that time, she started tutoring classes and workshops at WSP.

Yasmin is an enthusiastic and welcoming tutor who has a wealth of knowledge in a wide range of pottery making and decorating and shares her skills generously. Yasmin was introduced to ceramic watercolours in 2014 by Lisa Svensk and has been making her own and giving workshops for the last 8 years. She is an exhibiting ceramic artist and also teaches the Diploma of Ceramic Arts at WSP since 2022.

Help Support Clay Week

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 Arts Council Nelson is a registered charity, and that ticket sales cover only 50% of our costs? The remainder comes from grants, partnerships and individual donations from the community.

That’s where you can help! Volunteer, spread the word or consider donating to Clay Week.

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

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Arts Council Nelson proudly presents Clay Week in association with Kiln and thank our valued sponsors.

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