Pottery to the fore

The wheel of community education is turning once more…

Since the showing of the British Pottery Show « The Great Throwdown » there has been a surge of interest in the age old art of pottery.   It would appear that pottery is back.

However, anyone visiting the Bethlehem Pottery Club annual Bayclay exhibition, will see that pottery has never been away and is alive and well and happening in Tauranga.

The Bethlehem Club began in 1975 and now has a membership of 60 and its own premises and equipment. There is a display gallery which is open when members are working in the club rooms and two exhibitions are held each year, a Celebration of Ceramics in April and Bayclay in November. Members are both hobby potters and the more professionally orientated with works to sell.

The brilliant selection of pieces currently displayed at Baycourt reveal excellence, quality and creativity of the highest order and would have provided Judge John Parker with a difficult task in his search for a winner amongst the wide variety of competitive works that, in the main, are also for sale.

Cat Thompson became the supreme winner for the second year in a row with her ‘She said “Brush your hair” so I did it’, pictured at right.

Cat has tutored pottery in Continuing Education Courses and it is interesting to note that a large number of exhibitors either began their pottery endeavours at Night Classes or had been involved from the tutoring side.

In response to the renewed interest in clay, the Bethlehem Pottery Club is organizing evening classes in Beginner Pottery at its club rooms on Wednesdays from 7pm-9pm starting on 16th November.  Email the club at bethlehempotteryclub75@gmail.com  to enroll or for further details.

It is great to see the wheel of community education turning once more.

The Bethlehem Pottery Club already has a community based relationship with the Arohanui Art & Education Trust and tutor Niki Porter.  The club provides support with clay firing and the central section of the Baycourt Exhibition is devoted to works created by these students.

The whole exhibition is well worth a visit.
And, a small extra note, a great photo essay by Andrew Warner with images of the club, was published in the BOP Times on Saturday 12th November 2016.