Made in Whanganui

posted 22 Oct 2017, 16:19 by Rick Rudd
This group of works has been collected to show the diversity of studio ceramics made in Whanganui since the 1950s. Several makers have made a significant contribution to the pottery scene hers.

In the late 1950s Mavis Jack was a national agent for the English Podmore Clays and Bricesco Electric Kilns. She was one of 15 invited potters to exhibit in the first New Zealand Studio potters' Exhibition (1957) and was a foundling member of the New Zealand Society of Potters in 1963.

 Agnes Smith was, for many years, the leading light of pottery in Whanganui and headed a group of potters who set up the Whanganui Potters Society in 1975.

In the 1980s and 1990s George Kojis was the full time ceramics tutor at the Whanganui Regional Community College (later Wanganui Polytechnic, now UCOL). Several other potters shown within this group of works (including me) were employed as part time tutors. Eventually, after difficulties within the Department, and a decline in the number of students, it was closed and the equipment dispersed.

Recently, with a resurgence of interest in working with clay, Andrea du Chatenier has re-introduced some ceramics (and a kiln) to the Art Department at UCOL, and April Pearson is the tutor or regular beginners courses at Wanganui Potters Society.

There continues to be a small but serious group of clay workers in Whanganui.