End of some great Pottery in 2014!

Hello my pottery possums!

Well we have made it to the end of an amazing pottery year full of some awesome pottery, fantastic students and terrific events!

Some of the high lights for this year are exhibiting my work at Form Gallery, The Christchurch Art Show, The Tin Palace, Arts in Oxford, and The Little River Gallery.  Also being part of WOW with two costumes in Wellington and The Portage Ceramic Awards in Auckland.  It has been pretty busy and full of wild pottery adventures!  If you are in Auckland you will be able to see mine and my sister, Natasha’s, 2013 winning WOW piece called the Exchange.  It is part of the internationally touring show that WOW have created that will be there for the next couple of months…I’ve heard tell it is a pretty fantastic show…and it is free at the Auckland Museum.  If you are in Auckland also head along to the new gallery, as part of Titirangi’s Lopdell House Gallery, Te Uru.  I have my Portage work hanging there along side of some other pretty cool New Zealand ceramic work!

Another cool thing was our Risingholme Pottery exhibition SOUP this year!  Oh yeah…you guys were great!  And next year thanks to Mr Mad Hatter & Co we will be making some even cooler stuff!  I’d like to be able to tell you about all the stuff we are going to do…but that would be way too difficult…and I like to spring it on you as we go anyway…believe me it’s more fun this way!  But pink cups, cakes, rabbits, cards, t pots, top hats and clocks definitely feature…shhhh…that’s all I can say for now!

So next week most classes will be coming along to pick up their pottery work to take home. Please make sure that you bring enough pocket money to settle your account including your new items.  We will fill the lovely charity cups and pop a well wishing label on them from us all.  Then it’s time to sort out a wee area of the room to make spick and span ready for more Pottery Adventures next year!  I really appreciate this help and time that you give to the pottery room…it has been well used this year!

The kilns are firing full steam ahead and I have my fingers crossed that the elements will hold out over the next couple of weeks…maybe you should cross yours too!  I hope that it all comes out in time for you to take home…there may have to be a contingency pick up if they don’t make it through this week.

On Wednesday 5.50-7pm the ‘In Miniature’ exhibition opens at The Tin Palace in Lyttleton.  I have a wee piece in it ready for a secret Chrissie pressie for someone special of your choice.  Head along to pic up a spot of something special from a selection of talented artists.

I also gave out an invite to my annual OPEN STUDIO 2014 this week…I would love to see you (or anybody you would like to bring along) for a wee spot of drinky nibble to celebrate an amazing year of pottery.  I will have pottery gifties available from my studio so bring along some pocket money too!  December 13th, 2-9pm, unit 1/135 Stanmore Road, CHCH.

invite pic

I hope you all have a great weekend full of sunshine and look forward to seeing you next week.

Here are some sneak pics from the kilns…


Tatyanna a.k.a The Busy Finch 🙂



2015 Pottery Timetable!

Hi all,

Long time no writing!  It has been a very busy term with lots of gifties coming out of the klins and our charity cups which look splendid!   There is a little loot pile starting to compile for filling the cups and in week 8 we will pack them full of goodies ready to deliver to the City Mission!  Just a reminder as we are coming up to the end of the year about glazing.  Please make sure that you wax the bottom of your item BEFORE glazing.  The wax is not there to stop the glaze from sticking to the shelf it is there so that the glaze won’t stick to the pot when you are glazing it.  If you forget to wax the pot don’t panic just use a sponge and plenty of water to clean it off the areas that will touch the kiln shelves…please don’t wax over it.  Also make sure you have given the bottom a good wipe before it goes onto the glazing shelf.  Most materials used in glazing are toxic especially when they are inhaled dry…so keep all your work areas nice and clean.   I love this image below from fellow teaching potter Sarah Kaye!



So make sure you wax your bottom!

As promised here is the outline for 2015… including the calender…A3 Planner

I will be away for 8 weeks from the end of the first term.  This means that the timetable will be slightly different and there will be another tutor for the beginning of the 2nd term.

Term 2 will start the 20th of April, and will be 10 weeks worth!  But there will be a two week break after the first 2 weeks.  So for the first couple of weeks there will be the opportunity for you to do some concentrated work on getting to know the Risingholme glazes.  It is so easy to get uber-focused on making…use this extra time to get to grips with glazing so that you can develop a colour palate you are confident with!  It is especially fun learning what one glaze on top of another might do!!!

Next year we will be following the theme of “The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party”.  So each term we will do a project that explores shapes, colours and objects found in this fabulous section of Alice in Wonderland.  We will be working towards a group show in late term 3.  The fundraising objects for this show will include ‘pink’ coloured Tea cups with a proportion of the sale going to The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation and the balance towards the Doris Lusk Artist in Residence scheme in association with the Lusk Estate, Risingholme and Otago Polytechnic School of Art.

mad hatters t party

Our funds from 2014 have enabled this to go ahead in 2015, so in term 3 we will be joined by the first recipient ceramic artist for 2 weeks.  This is an exciting opportunity to work with some fresh ceramic eyes.


2015 is shaping up to be a fun pottery year with some twists, turns and extra classes.

Classes begin early next year at the beginning of February.  This means that you should enrol at the end of this year.  If enrolments are not confirmed we can’t start the year.  Enrolments can be completed online as well.  Sadly, because of our early start, Summer School won’t be offered in 2015.

Don’t worry though… instead I will run two weekend workshops during term 1.  Saturday and Sunday intensively playing with mud…I’m totally in!  Have a look at the course info sheets below and then enroll straight away to get a spot as numbers will be limited.



$68 February  21-22 Saturday & Sunday 10-4pm

This course offers you the opportunity to get to grips with slip and coloured additions to clay.  This is a short class where we will discuss base colorants and materials and how/when to apply them to the clay.  The old question of what is the difference between slip and under-glaze will be demystified! You will mix your own slip and apply them to pre prepared samples in lots of different ways, including making crayons and pencils, maybe even some screen printing.  We will also look at how to create clay bodies with colours or additions to them.

You will learn the correct use of tools and equipment,  how to use stains and oxides plus health and safety when working in pottery classroom environment

Please bring to class an apron, an old towel, lidded containers for excess slip, straws. You will also need a sketch pad and pencil for planning and recording your work.  Bring a lunch with you and some money for purchasing clay colorants appx $10



$68 March 21-22 Saturday & Sunday 10-4pm

This course offers you the opportunity to enhance your throwing and turning skills.  You will spend the first morning preparing the clay and learning how to throw various shapes.  Then we will have lunch (please bring with you).  In the afternoon we will continue to throw shapes that can be joined together to create larger and more interesting shapes.  If you ever wanted to know how to make a T-pot of taller shapes…I will reveal all the secrets!   On Sunday we will focus on turning correctly and joining pieces to make new forms including handles, lugs and additions.  You will need to have some throwing ability to join this class.

You will learn the correct use of tools and equipment and health and safety when working in pottery classroom environment.  Correct preparation of clay how to throw components used in making multiple piece forms and trimming, turning, compiling finished works.

Please bring to class an apron, an old towel, a small craft knife, clay cutter, plastic bags and a nylon or natural sponge, small plastic squeeze bottle. You will also need a sketch pad and pencil for planning and recording your work. Some money for purchasing clay – $6.90 pr 2.5 kg.  Firing costs as per usual.


Please have a good look and book into your favourite class as soon as you are able!

Well it feels like Summer has arrived so I wish you a sunny weekend and I will see you next week!



Tatyanna a.k.a The Busy Finch