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History

Wellington Potters’ Association (WPA) was established in 1958, when a meeting of all Wellington potters was called by the Wellington Potters’ Group. The meeting was held in Miss Doreen Blumhardt’s Craft Room at Wellington Teachers Training College on 27 February 1958. The first committee was elected at a meeting on 16 May 1958 at which the constitution was adopted.  The committee elected comprised:

  • President: Miss Doreen Blumhardt.
  • Vice-President: Mr J L Steward.
  • Secretary: Mrs I D McInnes.
  • Treasurer: Mrs A Rose.
  • Committee: Mesdames Helen, Lee Thomson, Muriel Moody and Miss D Hall.

Wellington Potters’ Association incorporated on 29 May 1958 with Common Seal and letterhead designed by Doreen Blumhardt. The initial membership was 76 and the annual subscription £1.

Brief timeline:

1959:    Inaugural exhibition at Willeston Gallery.

1969:    Library established.

1980:    First permanent home opened on 18 October 1980 in the old dilapidated laundry of the disused Alexandra Maternity Hospital, Hanson Street, Newtown.

1983:    Jean Hasted designed WPA logo.

1986:    Requested to vacate Hanson Street rooms as property to be demolished.
Negotiated sub-lease with Musical and Drama Society (MADSOC) to occupy downstairs room at 130 Grant Road, Thorndon, on Town Belt.

1996:    MADSOC assigns its lease to WPA.

1997:    Major renovation work at a cost of $10,700 was undertaken on the basement of the building to make it usable.

1998:    14 February 1998 WPA acquires ownership of 130 Grant Road, now called The Wellington Potters Centre.

2001:    Eleven members visit Japanese potters in Sakai City, Wellington’s Sister City.

2002:    Return visit to Wellington of Japanese potters from Sakai City.
‘Form, Fire, Fusion’ joint WPA/Sakai potters exhibition at Michael Fowler Centre.

2004:    Major ceramic sculpture by member Anneke Borren presented to Mayor of Sakai City during his visit to Wellington.
Anagama kiln construction commenced on June and Graeme Houston’s property at  Horokiwi.
WPA contracts to provide pottery classes for local colleges.

2005:    WPA contracts with Otago Polytechnic to run its Diploma in Ceramic Arts course.

2006:    Exterior of building tiled by members.
First Anagama firing.