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Whanganui Midweek - 2021-07-21

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‘No rubbish' at potters' exhibition

News

Mike Tweed

The Whanganui Potters’ Studio is gearing up for its annual exhibition, and there’s no shortage of work to display. Exhibition organiser Elaine Clark said the studio currently had 90 members. “They have all sorts of skills,” Clark said. “Some of them make sculptures, others make homeware, and then others just make things like flowers and pots for the garden.” Fellow organiser Pat Townsend said local ceramics artist and teacher Rob Housley would be the guest potter for the exhibition. Housley would also have a large display of his own works at the exhibition. “This is a selected exhibition, and members can put their pieces in for consideration,” Townsend said. “From there they will be examined by Rob and Diane Fazzini - they are the scrutineers. “There will be no rubbish in the exhibition. The work will be screened to make sure it’s up to standard.” The majority of the works would be for sale, Townsend said. “Quite often we’ve looked around and everyone’s saying ‘oh, I haven’t got anything to exhibit’, so we start to panic, and then all of a sudden it all comes out of the woodwork and we end up with a very good exhibition.” Studio member Pauline Walton said the studio had been battling with a faulty kiln lately. Walton, along with Clark and Townsend, will have her own works on display. “The kiln is a bit like some of our members - getting old,” Walton said. ‘We’ll get there though.” Around 30 per cent of the studio’s members were beginners, Clark said, and while they “weren’t up for being scrutinised just yet”, it was a good sign for the future. “It’s is becoming more and more popular, and Covid-19 made people aware of doing things with their hands. “The enthusiasm for pottery has just shot up, and this is a very alive and well group.” There were currently five sessions the public could come along to each week, Clark said. “It’s actually quite interesting, each group seems to have an individual fashion to it. “The Tuesday morning group is totally different to the Wednesday morning group, for example. “If someone sculpts ladies’ busts, like Tuesday morning does, then other people there think ‘oh, I can do that too’. “The Wednesday group never sees that though, so they don’t get carried away with that particular idea.” The exhibition in the front exhibition room of the Whanganui Community Arts Centre, 19 Taupo Quay, will be opened by the Sarjeant Gallery’s Greg Donson on Friday, July 23, at 10am. It runs until August 1, and opening hours are 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday, Saturday 9.30am to 4pm.

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