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Past workshops

3 November 2018 — Chester Nealie demonstration 9 am to 1:30 pm; slide lecture & talk 5pm to 6pm

Chester Nealie image from Te Papa

Well-known potter Chester Nealie will be visiting WPA and giving workshop demo on Saturday 3rd November from 9am to 1:30 pm.

He will be presenting a free slide lecture at 5 pm.

His book “Etched in Fire” will be available for purchase.

The workshop & talk is open to all and registration is not required, however space is on a first-come, first-serve basis to capacity of the rooms.  A koha of $5 is suggested.

If people want to bring their anagama fired pots Chester is happy to do a critique and discussion about the firing results.


From Chester:

I began my potting in 1964 in the Auckland area and have been woodfiring in the anagama style since 1978 after a trip I took with Len Castle to Japan where I first saw the possibilities of wood firing. After 27 years as a potter in New Zealand I now live and work in Gulgong, Australia. I keep contact with New Zealand through regular exhibitions (Masterworks, Auckland is my dealer gallery), workshops and lectures and spend time in New Zealand every year.

I work mostly on the wheel and sometimes use hand built techniques. I like to alter my wheel thrown work with a nudge and a bump to give a unique freedom and character to the forms. Some pots go into the kiln as raw clay and some are glazed with tricks to leave imprints on the surface. All my pots are wood fired for 70-80 hours, soaking for 30 hours at 1300o C.

I can offer to give a demonstration of my making techniques (say 9am – 4pm) and a slide lecture showing my workshop, making and firing my kiln for wood ash effects, either in that time or later in the evening. Other groups often make the slide lecture open to the public. I’ll bring a group of my pots with me and copies of my recent book ‘Chester Nealie: Etched in Fire’ published by Ron Sang, Auckland.

For more information, please contact workshops@wellingtonpotters.org.nz.


20 & 21 October 2018 – Japanese Chawan: A spirit of Rikyu & Raku – workshop & talk

WPA is very excited to be offering a workshop by Kumiko Jacolin in collaboration with the Wellington Sakai Association.

Japanese Chawan - 20 & 21 October Workshop


A workshop on making “Chawan” – Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st October, 12:00 – 3:00 pm

For those who are interested in making a “chawan” yourself, you can register for two days of workshop. You can experience a Japanese way of making a chawan, hopefully respecting as much as Chojiro’s spriit of Raku. The first day you shape a cup using handbuilding methods, then the next day you learn carving. You will participate to create a chawan on these two days. The workshop fee covers clay and necessary materials, and is suitable for beginners or those new to clay. The bisque and final firing will be done later. It won’t be a traditional Raku firing, however you will have an option to participate to glaze and/or firing session.

Open to all levels.  $20 for WSA/WPA members and $30 for non-WSA/WPA members.  This workshop is now full. Please email kumiko@jacolin.net to join the waiting list.
* Selected cups maybe used at the tea ceremony demonstration in the Japan Festival.


A Talk on “Chawan” & Tea Ceremony  Sunday 21st October, 3.30 – 4.30pm

Inspired by Rikyu, a tea master from Sakai city, Japan (Wellington’s sister city), I would like to share my passion on “Chawan”(tea cup). The tradition of “Raku” chawan is transmitted secretly from father to son since 1568, currently headed its 15th master. I will talk about its history and his “wabi” spirit, with a demonstration of the tea ceremony.

All welcome! The talk and demonstration of tea ceremony is free and does not require registrations; however space will be on a first come first serve basis to the capacity.

30 September 2018 – Working with Colour with Vivian Rodriguez


A workshop with Vivian Rodriguez:

Sunday 30 September, 12pm – 6pm

$85 members, $125 non- members


Come along and learn how to make underglazes, slips, engobes and coloured clay and, how to apply them to your leather hard work.  This course is designed for beginners, intermediate and advanced students.  Enrol today as places are going fast. 


This workshop is fully booked.  For more information, please contact: Vivian Rodrigues, 021 264 5414. vivavivianr@gmail.com


23 September 2018 — Throwing BIG! with Mal Sole

Workshop poster - throwing big - 23 sept

We are delighted to announce Mal Sole will be running a demonstration workshop on how to throw large pots on the wheel on 23 September from 10 am to 3 pm.  (NB the photo above is not Mal!)


Come along and learn several techniques you can use to go large on the wheel.

Please note:

  • This is a demonstration workshop – you will not have the opportunity to throw during the workshop, but can practice the skills during your own time.
  • Some techniques Mal will demonstrate require a high speed wheel that can handle a heavy load such as Shimpo brand (there is only 1 wheel like this available at the club).

This workshop is for people with intermediate level throwing skill.  You should be able to confidently centre clay and make a cylinder.


July 2018

WPA Javier Murcia sculpture workshop flyer

Javier Murcia’s Initiation to SculptureBust sculpture of a woman by Javier Murcia

10 & 11 and 17 & 18 July – 5 pm – 9:30 pm

Fees: $240 for WPA members, $290 for non-members (limited to 15 places)

2 consecutive evenings, a week apart) from 5 to 9m. By the end of the course, people will learn how to approach a bust from scratch, learning the sketch of the elements (eyes, mouth, ears, and nose), hair, neck, and shoulders.  For examples of Javier’s work, visit http://www.javiermurcia.com/.  Cost includes wooden bust base for participants to take home.

June 2018

Sat 2nd – Sun 3rd, Vivian Rodríguez master class on Tagines, Casseroles and Lidded Vessels

9am – 4pm


Fees: $140 for WPA members, $180 for non-members (Limited to 14 places)

This workshop is designed to teach students different techniques to create beautiful and functional Casseroles, Tagines and Lidded Vessels. It is open to all levels, however students need to be able to centre and work at the wheel with a minimum of 1.5 kilograms of clay.

For enrolment or further information please contact Vivian Rodríguez, 021-264-5414, vivavivianr@gmail.com.


3rd -4th, Ben Carter workshop (already fully booked)

2-day hands-on workshop

Thursday 3 May and Friday 4 May, 9:30am to 4:00pm

Fee: $150 members / $200 non-members — paid by internet payment or in the rooms safe

Internet Payments: Wellington Potters Association; Account Number: 02 0568-0024590-00
To register: nicolemgaston@gmail.com

This workshop is strictly limited to 12 participants and is now full. 

What you’ll learn

Workshop topics include:

  • Techniques for drawing on clay, including sgraffito, wax resists, and underglaze painting
  • Quick manipulations of form for expressive gestural pots
  • Slip decorating with deflocculated slips
  • Methods for throwing with less water to create a softer surface
  • Tips for making strong functional pottery at low fire temperatures
  • Transforming creative ideas into physical objects

What to bring:

Participants are expected to supply the following materials for their own use:

  • 10kg plastic earthenware clay (or any plastic, dark smooth clay).
  • heat gun or blow torch would be handy
  • basic pottery tools
  • towels
  • apron
  • notebook and pencil etc
  • 3 small detail brushes for detail work
  • one large cover coat brush
  • Measuring tape, ruler and / or dividers if you have them
  • Your lunch

Friday 4th May Ben Carter evening talk/demonstration

5:30pm-7:00pm (time may vary slightly)

Fee: Free for members/$20 for non-members

To register: n/a

The evening talk/demonstration will look at aesthetic development and is limited to 50 people on a first-come basis.

April 2018: Anagama Workshop and Demonstration, Mal Sole and Peter Rumbleanagama pottery examples

Two mud-slinging pyromaniacs (one a thrower, one a handbuilder) gave their hands-on insights into what works best for anagama (wood kiln) firings as well as advice on the best clays to use, whether to glaze – or not – and (may have) answered your questions on the meaning of life. Posters showed anagama activities and ‘real, live, unadulterated’ examples of the works from previous firings. Vivian Rodriguéz gave the low-down on making your own anagama glazes.

January 2018: Slab, print and slip

A series of four workshops taking place over four days tutored by Peter Rumble, Barbara Spencer and Anthea Grob.

slip-printed pot  slip-printed pot

slip-printed pot
2018 Summer Workshops – Pot by Grace Sharp.
Photos: Peter Rumble

Slab part 1: Paper-clay, paper-clay slab building with Peter Rumble.
Print—Photocopy transfer: Photocopy printing onto (plastic) clay slabs, with Barbara Spencer
Slip making: Making coloured slips with stains and oxides, with Anthea Grob
Print—Monoprinting: Mono-printing with slips onto (plastic ) clay slabs with Barbara Spencer
Slab continued: Construction of clay vases/constructions with Peter Rumble
Slab continued: Finishing of clay vases/constructions with Peter Rumble
Post workshop: Glazing: Post bisque firing treatment with Peter Rumble

Nov. / Dec. 2017: Richard Stratton: Slab and slip-trailing workshop

slip-trailed slab vasesRichard Stratton’s two weekend workshops on slip trailing and using pre-decorated slabs.
A fascinating series of workshops, where participants learn and partake in the production of coloured slips, and make slip trailed and feathered designs on clay slabs.