Well…this Summer I visited the pottery mecca of New Zealand…Nelson for a Pottery Treasure Hunt!
They are a fantastic lot of muddy mud skippers up and around Nelson and I wanted to visit all of them!
But that would be insanity…so instead I hunted down a handful and had a marvelous time traveling the back roads in the sun!
Of course if you are going to see potters work in Nelson, a must is The Bridge Street gallery, where you can get a feel for a variety of work and then by using one of the handy ‘find a nelson potter’ brochures you can follow up with a studio visit.
Man, I sure am glad that my Xmas open studio produced some funds because I couldn’t help but want to purchase a few goodies.
First I went to visit Steve Fullmer
in his fab studio which looks like it was probably a wee community hall in a past lifetime. What a charming and interesting man. He makes the most marvelous terracotta pottery decorated with coloured slips. The terracotta modifies the colours into lovely muted tones.
His bunnies are delightful but his whales are mesmerizing. I remember when I was a small kiddie winkle my Nana had a children’s book that had drawings of whales drawn by other kiddie winkles…well Steve’s whales encapsulate the spirit of these drawings with their wonderful naivety.
I loved it when he told me he had never actually seen a live whale but he ‘guessed’ that’s what they looked like. Hilarious! Well as you can see I really had no choice but to adopt one and now he is perched underneath my whitebait picture of Alison Hales.
Steve Fullmer’s Whale
I went to several other studios including, Katie Gold and Owen Barletts
. Where it was again a must to purchase one of Owens legendary spotted jugs. I have wanted one of these for a while… so now I have no excuse for not drinking more sangria and having large bunches of flousey blousey roses! I also had a brief moment of dah-ness when I eventually realized that Owens work was next to mine at the Portage exhibition last year…really a very talented man.
Owen Bartletts Jug
Now while you are in Neslon you should really visit two more arty places…The Suter Art Gallery
and The world of Wearable Art Museum
. I first went the WOW museum and ogled all the amazing costumes up close and personal and then watched the wee film that was running on the award winners for last year. A bit odd watching yourself! But more importantly they have a great museum shop that showcases all sorts of handmade NZ goodies. Amongst those on offer I found it impossible to resist buying a handful of Bridie Hendersons
feathers inspired by her winning Portage entry. They are scattered alongside of my funny wee kitsch kiwis on my bird shelf.
Bridie Henderson Feathers
At the Suter Art Gallery they had their members exhibition and I picked up a couple of special wee paintings of native birds on silver trays by artist Lee-Ann Dixon
. They are gorgeous! I kept this wee one called ‘Ruffled’ and gave my sister the other on for Christmas. She used to have the most amazing Victorian bird dioramas before the CHCH earthquakes and, because she missed them so much, when I saw these I instantly thought of her. She was delighted!
Lee-Ann Dixon ‘Ruffled’
Lastly…thank goodness…I couldn’t help myself when I decided to bring home one of Madeleine Childs
‘Popcorn’. I have always wanted a piece ever since her exhibition of thousands of candy coloured wall mounted popcorn at the Dunedin Art Gallery called ‘Snap, crackle, pop!’. I was hoping to get some for my 40th B’day last year…but sadly no…so I just bought myself this piece of sticky caramel coated corn with a gold luster kernel from The National
! What can I say…’a girls gotta have whata girls gotta have’…and personally all popcorn is good!
Maddies caramel corn…yum, yum!
So now I am back to work to get funds accumulating for the 2014 pottery treasure hunt
…let the making begin!!!