Pottery on the rise - for the 'love of clay'

MONIQUE STEELE/Stuff.co.nz

New potters are lining up to learn how to make their own ceramic pottery across Christchurch.

One of the most ancient crafts has made a comeback.

All over Christchurch, beginners pottery classes are bursting at the seams, with new potters lining up to learn how to make their own ceramic pottery.

"I think now there's a surge happening," said Canterbury Potters Association tutor Jane McCulla.

Canterbury Potters' Association tutor Jane McCulla says potting has spiked in popularity.
MONIQUE STEELE/FAIRFAX NZ

Canterbury Potters' Association tutor Jane McCulla says potting has spiked in popularity.

"We've got a lot of young folk coming in and taking photos of their pots for Instagram.

​"There's been a big come back."

The Canterbury Potters Association hold adult, children and disabled group classes each week.

Christchurch has different pottery clubs including the Mt Pleasant Pottery Group in Phillipstown, the Halswell Pottery Group, and there are groups in Rangiora, Governor's Bay.

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"It's unbelievable how many clubs there are. They're all sharing their love of clay," McCulla said.

"I'm so happy that I've found the thing I'm passionate about, and that's clay."

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Christchurch woman Jane Bowman and her mum Anna Bowman have been taking classes at the Canterbury Potters Association for around three months.

Jane, who has a Masters in Fine Arts, is currently working on throwing a vase and has never worked with clay before.

"It's wonderful," she said.

"We can do what we want which is different to tertiary based study.

"And pottery is probably one of the most basic structural techniques to bring back to my art," she said.

Anna used to pot more than 30 years ago and only recently picked it back up.

"It's a bit like riding a bike, it all comes back.

"It's centuries old, so the art never changes, and you don't have to be arty to do it by any means. Everybody can do it, and they should do it at least once," she said.

McCulla said the beginner potters got a lot out of the classes.

"They can just come here and switch off and not think about the problems in the world."

She attributes the surge of popularity to the reality television programme The Great Pottery Throwdown.

Last month more than 10,000 people visited the Canterbury Potters Association's annual exhibition held at the Canterbury Museum with more than 120 pieces by 29 potters on display.

 - Stuff

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