Pits of Fire for our Talented Potters
One of the best things about into a National Lifestyle Village is that you meet people from all walks of life, all with different skills and who are all eager to share their talents with others.
Talented potter, Nola, who moved into Oyster Harbour Village in June last year, is one such person and has started a pottery group to teach others and share her passion. The group meets regularly in a corner of the workshop to learn and produce beautiful pieces. The group has 4 pottery wheels and are hoping to purchase a kiln through fundraising and a grant from Lottery West.
In the meantime, they’ve tried their hand at creating a fire pit kiln with the help of Village Manager, Simon Bairstow. To avoid digging into the water table at the Village, they created a mound using spare fill around the site. Then they dug a pit in the mound and lined it with tin. Next, they lined the base of the fire pit with sawdust, dry leaves and twigs. They added their finished pottery pieces and placed the wood fuel for the fire on top and lit it up. After a couple of hours, they placed more tin on top of the kiln then left it to burn out and cool slowly.
Six of the fifteen pieces survived, with the rest unfortunately cracking. The pottery group however are not discouraged, they’re busy creating more pieces and refining their fire pit kiln. They are hoping to give it another go in late April once the fire ban is lifted. This time they’re going to give their pottery pieces more time to harden in the hope that more will survive the fire pit kiln.
The Pottery Group currently sell their wares at local fairs and markets in and around Albany to fundraise for a new gas fired kiln. Simon is also planning to add a purpose-built pottery room to the existing workshop to house the kiln and all their equipment.