Bundaberg Pottery Group dishes up 50 good years

Bundaberg Pottery Group Association Inc
Bundaberg Pottery Group vice-president Janet Usher says everyone is welcome to join the local group.

For 50 years locals have been throwing, pinching and coiling pieces of clay at the Bundaberg Pottery Group to create artwork and friendships.

The group was founded in 1969 and interest from the community has always been strong, particularly in the past 12 months.

Vice-president Janet Usher said the pottery group had grown so much recently that organisers were busy trying to keep up with the demand, but this was music to their ears.

“We are always looking for new members, as the small membership fees helps keep the kilns running,” Janet said.

“Our art hub in Bundaberg has so much going for it at the moment.”

Janet said along with membership the group also had classes for community members who wanted to learn more about pottery or just basic techniques on how to get started.

“Education in pottery is booming at the moment and there is a lot of interest here,” she said.

“This year has really taken off for us.”

Pottery classes are starting up again this weekend and run for two hours over six lessons, but are already fully booked.

Janet said the classes taught basic pottery skills, from pinch pots at the start, to creating slab work and learning how to finish the pottery off with glazing and firing.

Bundaberg Pottery Group Association
Bundaberg Pottery Association member Pam Vercoe has been potting for 30 years

Bundaberg Pottery Group member Pam Vercoe said she’d been potting for 30 years in New South Wales before moving to the area and joining the Bundaberg potters about three years ago.

Pam said it was a great place to socialise and she had formed many friendships since joining the group.

“I come along because I enjoy the time with others and it’s just a great environment to be in,” Pam said.

The group has members from all walks of life, from retirees to students and teachers, who create pottery pieces ranging from ornaments to dishes and vases to much more.

As a retired science teacher Janet said not everyone was aware of the discipline behind the craft, but as with a lot of the arts it was there.

“The science behind the glazes used is really quite interesting – I make up my own, it’s really just trial and error some days,” she said.

“And there’s making sure you have the right temperature when firing the piece.

“The secret to it all is you have to like what you do and have a passion for it, then it will all be worth it in the end.”

Bundaberg Pottery Group Association meets twice a week, Thursday and Saturday at 95c Walker St in the Bundaberg Craft Centre, next to the Bundaberg Woodworkers Guild.

“The more members we have the better,” Janet said.

“We have a lot of fun when we meet, half the time is social and half the time we are heads down working.”

For more information phone Janet 0429 877 086.