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Past workshops

Visiting artist Erik Omundson – 20 November

Join visiting American artist Erik Omundson (Hawaii) as he demonstrates his unique techniques for throwing large shapes on the wheel.

Please note this is a demonstration workshop only with no hands-on component.  Erik is offering hands-on workshops at Otaki Potters but this workshop is fully booked.

This workshop will only be able to go ahead if we get a minimum of 12 registrations.  Please support Erik and the club by registering and making it possible for us to offer demonstrations by visiting artists to our members.

Register now and make payment (by bank transfer or EFTPOS at the rooms) to secure your spot!

FULLY BOOKED – Hand building and creating textured slabs with Jane McCulla – 16 & 17 November

Join the 2019 Ceramicus Selector Jane McCulla for this 2-day workshop.

Start by learning to make plaster sprig moulds, followed by creating textured slabs and joining them to develop different shapes and types of work.  Participants should have some experience working with clay.
This workshop is fully booked.

Plates with Vivian – 5 & 6 October 2019

Please note you must be able to centre clay and work independently on the wheel to enrol in this workshop.

Making and Modifying Glazes: Saturday September 7 & 14
10 – 12 pm 1 – 4 pm WPA glaze rooms
$100 members/$125 non-members
A hands on workshop taking place over two Saturdays where you learn how to make up a glaze safely and then how to modify it using simple additions or blends. Then the following Saturday have a look at the results and do some more.
There will be lots of weighing and sieving and recording and you will build up a small group of fired samples and tests.

Bring an apron (or overalls or lab coat), a notebook and pen. Materials, including fired test tiles will be available, however glazes come out differently on different clay so feel free to bring small samples of bisque fired clay you are currently using. You do not have to be a mathematician or scientist to enjoy the magic of glazes.   Please expect to pay an additional $5-10 for glaze materials and bisque test tiles (if needed)

  • Tips, tricks, best practices
  • safety
  • Q & A on glaze problems
  • making glazes easier to apply
  • interpreting glaze tests
  • getting the glazes the right thickness
  • simple (line) blend tests
  • colourant testing or converting your glazes to paint-on-able ones

Numbers strictly limited to 10 – register now and make payment (by bank transfer or EFTPOS at the rooms) to secure your spot!


Working with porcelain workshop in June!


porcelain workshop flyer


22 – 23 June 2019
10am – 4pm
Porcelain Teapot Workshop with Jenny Shearer


February 2019 – Pit firing with Chris Dunn

Pit firing workshop flyer

This 3 part workshop will cover all aspects of pit firing including:

  • clay preparation, creating a vessel suitable for pit firing (Session I — 3 Feb 6 to 9 pm)
  • preparing pots and kiln for firing, making brick pit, cutting wood, stacking and firing kiln (Session II — 23 Feb 10 am to 8 pm)
  • and unstacking kiln, finishing pots, tidying up (Session III — 24 February 1 pm to 4 pm).
Strictly limited to 12 participants.  Registrations required.   Rain dates for pit firing Sessions II & III 2 & 3 March.
$150 WPA members, $200 non-members, including firing costs but not clay. 

25 January 2019 — The business of craft with Rhonda Tracey – 6 to 8pm

Hear from The Craft Kit‘s Rhonda Tracey about “Strategies for turning a passion for pottery into a successful business”.

This talk will cover all aspects of the business side of ceramics.  No registrations required, come along to learn from Rhonda and enjoy some drinks & nibbles.  Suggested koha $5.  Please RSVP by filling in this form.


 13th,  26 & 27 January — Mould making with Richard Stratton –

Mould making workshop flyer

Learn all about plaster moulds and how to make moulds for press moulding, slip casting and hump moulds.

  • Session I – 13 January 6-8 pm – overview of mould making, concepts and selecting object to cast moulds from (talk)
  • Session II – 26 January 10 am to 4 pm – making cottle boards, modelling your objects for casting, and preparing for casting
  • Session III – 27 January 10 am to 4 pm – casting your object in plaster in your cottle boards, and finishing moulds
Strictly limited to 12 participants.  Registrations required.
$150 WPA members, $200 non-members.
  • Fee includes plaster for creating mould of average size.  If you want to cast a particularly large object, you may need additional plaster.
  • Participants will be required to provide their own wood for cottle boards depending on the size of the object they wish to cast.  The tutor will give instructions at the first session on size, quantity & type of wood needed for cottle boards for various shapes & sizes of objects, and participants will be asked to bring their wood for cottle boards to the 2nd session (assembly guidance will be provided, and a saw will be available to cut large pieces of wood).   Clamps & hardware will be provided.  Any questions just ask workshops@wellingtonpotters.org.nz

Wednesday 5 Dec – Throwing experimental shapes with James Lemon – 5:30 to 8:30 pm

James Lemon workshop

James Lemon is coming to Wellington Potters’ Association!

From James –

“I’ve never been a fan of precision, I know it’s necessary sometimes but there’s more fun in flaws. Embracing a playful and open throwing technique is what I do to make the work I make. So what does alternative forming look like? That’s the fun bit, I DON’T KNOW, and that’s an integral part of the process. Approaching the wheel with experimental methods to creating unique work requires an open mind, an ability to learn by failure and a sense of humour. In this mini masterclass I will demonstrate movements on wheel which we will apply to standard forms. We’ll be working with three basic shape of varying sizes depending on skill level to get a sense of the tolerance different forms have to a ‘playful’ approach, you will learn to be brave and confident with your throwing and gain a clearer understanding of the way you make and the different paths we can take to overcome challenges of off-kilter production.”

This workshop is suitable for beginners.

Participants should bring 10 kgs ungrogged mid-fire clay or purchase PCW from the club at the workshop.  Firing costs NOT included.

Saturday 1 December – Ceramic Jewellery with Anthea Grob – 10 am to 4pm

Ceramic jewellery workshop flyer

Just in time for Christmas – learn to make your own ceramic jewellery.  Anthea’s workshop will include construction of bead and brooch firing supports. Using a bead roller, making several types of bead, making firing supports, Egyptian paste, ideas tips and tricks, flexible knots and fastenings.

Suitable for beginners.  Bring a notebook & apron.

$80 for WPA members ($100 non-Members) includes materials but NOT FIRING





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.