Pottering away in Whau this summer

Last Updated : 16 Jan 2024
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Clay artist Jack Tilson and daughter in front of his wood-fired kiln
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Tucked away at the end of a busy road behind dense native bushes, is the family home and studio of clay artist Jack Tilson. This hidden gem will soon be a haven for ceramic lovers, thanks to an artist residency programme funded by Whau Local Board.

Free workshops coming up

Tilson, coordinator of the programme and the co-founder of Wood Fired Pottery School, is thrilled that his studio will be open to locals from across the Whau area, and others from across Tāmaki Makaurau.

“Thanks to the support of Whau Local Board through the artist residency programme, we’re now able to bring three contemporary artists into New Lynn for three months,” says Tilson.

“The three artists, E Mae Lee, Dayle Palfreyman, and Mallory Fraser, will be working in the studio over the summer. They will gain access to the space, materials and kiln. And we’re going to support them to learn about our style and practices.
Clay pots by E Mae Lee

Clay pots by E Mae Lee

“It’s also exciting is that they are going to offer six free clay workshops to the public. The workshops range from making a teapot to more experimental practices, which will cater to all levels from scratch to seasoned ceramic enthusiasts,” adds Tilson.

“For myself it’s like a dream come true that the workshops are based in the Whau, the home of ceramics history across the road from Crown Lynn.”

Support for creative projects

The artist residency programme is one part of Whau Local Board’s funding support for creative projects in the Whau area.

The projects funded for the year express the Whau identity through high-quality art, amplify the diverse voices of the Whau, and ensure the tamariki (children) and rangatahi (young people) have access to arts.

Whau Local Board chair Kay Thomas says: “Whau is the home to a large number of creative people from music and arts, and the creative community has always been a very important part of our vibrant culture.

“We’re pleased to have the opportunity to invite the locals to celebrate our unique heritage of clay works through this artist residency programme. Come and check out the three artists’ great work and let’s potter away in the Whau this summer.”

Book your spot

These free public workshops run every Saturday from 13 January and go through to the end of March. The workshops are suitable for all ages, and all materials and firings will be provided.

As the spaces are limited please register your interest by emailing woodfiredpotteryschool@gmail.com.  

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