Childers Firehouse Potters is welcoming police, ambos, firefighters and doctors as new members.
It appears workers in high-pressure professions are looking to destress through the power of creativity.
President of Firehouse Potters Barry Johnson said the pottery group, which has been active since the early 1980s, was again hitting full stride following interruptions caused through COVID-19.
“Membership numbers have been quite good, and we have noticed that in addition to our normal intake of new members we are getting interest from people who do work in more stressful professions.”
Barry said many people mistakenly believed that you needed to be artistic to be able to successfully pot.
“That’s a myth. We have experienced potters here who can provide initial guidance and ongoing advice to get a novice started,” he said.
Experienced potter Kay Van Roden said potential new members were welcome to ‘come and try’ at a cost of $5 per day.
“After three visits they have the opportunity to join the club. Initially people try the usual plates, coffee mugs etc but eventually they are encouraged to try something they have imagined, something a bit quirky that they want to create,” she said.
“Working with clay is very tactile. It’s really a case of imagination, hands, and eyes to create a piece. If it doesn’t work you just mash it and start again.”
Firehouse Potters focus on garden ornaments
Barry and Kay both agreed that there was currently an emphasis on creating garden ornaments. “That’s very big at the moment,” said Kay.
“With a lot of people taking to their gardens because of the pandemic they are looking to create pieces that add interest to the garden or may hold a pot plant.”
New members Fiona Dowling and Victoria Poulier agreed they were making great progress after just a couple of days of hands on experience.
“I always wanted to try pottery, but work and family commitments didn’t allow that,” said Fiona.
“I have more time now and I know there’s a creative part of me just waiting to get out,” she laughed.
Victoria said the social aspects of the group were also a reason to join. “I joined with my sister and I’m quite surprised at what we have been able to create in such a short space of time.
“I’m working on a mask at the moment and I think it is working out quite well. You always have the support of the more experienced potters to guide and advise.”
Kay said Firehouse Potters were also experiencing an upsurge in “walk-ins” with travellers finding the premises and looking to purchase pieces.
“There are so many travellers on the road and everyone is looking to maximise their travel experience by seeking out attractions in every place they stop.”
The Firehouse Potters meet at the clubhouse adjacent to Pioneer Park on Saturday and Monday and new member enquiries are always welcome.
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