NZCT Turns Up The Heat for Nelson Community Potters

"A new kiln means that our pots can be fired promptly and efficiently, instead of waiting weeks to see results. Not having to wait and see how new ideas and glazes turn out adds immeasurably to the fun and enthusiasm.”
Jane Achison, Chairperson
"My heart breaks for my kids when their work is damaged in the firing process. We love that we will be able to welcome more people into our club with the increased capacity for firing.”
Kim Holmes, member and tutor.
"Stoked that Nelson Community Potters will be able to reach further into the community as the new kiln allows us opportunities for expansion."
Miranda Wood, member.

These were just three responses when Nelson Community Potters learned they had been awarded a grant of $14,386 from NZCT for the purchase and installation of a new kiln from Cobcraft in Christchurch, plus electrical costs and freight charges.

Miranda Wood says, “The kilns are the beating heart of our community pottery club. Our current kilns are at varying ages and stages of disrepair. Now we can replace our most unreliable one, as well as wire the new kiln with the two older (but more reliable) kilns to an outdoor purpose-built kiln shed.”

“We have already removed old pavers and rubble from the ground where the concrete pad will be poured for the purpose-built shed where the new kiln will be housed. We transported the existing tin raku shed by hand over the high fence, along the footpath and up to its new location which we had levelled and paved with the recycled tiles.”

“A brand new kiln, thermocouple, and controller, as well as the majority of funds to have the kilns wired into their new purpose-built home, will enable us to welcome more members to our club and offer more consistent firings to our club and class attendees.”

“Current members have consistent access to a machine capable of vitrifying their ceramic creations and we have over thirty people on the wait list for membership. Many have been there for over a year and our classes sell out fast. We have been reaching out to people facing barriers and would like to expand this to more disadvantaged groups and as our constitution outlines promote ceramics to the wider Nelson community. With increased capacity, we’ll be able to expand our reach considerably.“

Kim Holmes adds , “We’re a community club that struggles to meet the demands of our community. We strive to honour the principles of Te Tiriti and welcome people of all ages and cultures. We observe tikanga around kai areas and work stations, respecting and conserving natural resources and our environment. The new kiln will be more efficient, which will support environmental kaitiaki and allow us to continue offering creative community education well into the future.”

”Pottery has been growing in popularity over the last few years, with a renewal of interest in hands-on, traditional, slow and creative hobbies and activities - a move away from mass-produced and technology-based leisure. Our club has been running for over forty years and is currently experiencing its highest ever volume of members including a waitlist.”

“Our members speak of a common thread being an interest in clay, bringing about some hearty connections with others who you might not ordinarily come across, they also describe an intense sensation of wellbeing when working with elements earth, fire, and water. Our class attendees and club members range from very young to folk well into their eighties and beyond. We have people from all sorts of cultures and socio economic backgrounds, and ceramics easily smooths out any differences.”

“We like to keep our classes and memberships as accessible as possible and we have been relying on a pair of really ancient kilns, which are essentially the beating heart of our club. Everyone’s work goes through these kilns and they have been at times really unreliable, meaning we need to re-fire or even re-make work if it has become damaged.”

“To keep repairing these old kilns meant the club had to cap both membership and the number of classes offered. Some people have been waiting for a year or more to join and with this generous grant from NZCT we will be able to welcome all members of the local community who are keen to share the creative joys of ceramic learning and pottery exploration.”