from the Scottish Potters Association Journal:


Jane’s wych elm Raku Tea Bowls among the woodcrafts at the RBGE exhibition



After a year when she helped organise our SPA exhibition on Deeside, a joint one with the Basketmakers in Perth, and her own raku contribution to the Wych Elm exhibition at Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden, JANE KELLY took time to visit her friends and family in New Zealand. Here she surveys her trip and looks forward to 2010’s SPA shows in Scotland.


“It was a long promised journey”, said Jane. “I partly grew up in New Zealand and our son Tom has emigrated there, so Roger and I made the long haul to the other side of the world. There was a lot to visit on the way.  Singapore’s Maxwell Food Market, Chinatown and Botanic Gardens, Melbourne city and St Kilda, Sydney Harbour and Bondi. But the main destination was New Zealand, and old friends and relatives from Auckland in the North to the Banks Peninsula in the south, and points between.


Maori decorative arts feature in Wellington’s museums like this one of City and Sea

We felt New Zealand’s increasing sense of its cultural identity as Aoteroa and the dominance of its mountains and seas. In Auckland we explored the new maritime museum exhibits on kiwi master yachtsman Sir Peter Blake.  In Wellington we smelled the coffee, traversed Cuba Street, Te Papa national museum, walked the coast, saw the wildlife in Korori Reserve where I used to play as a girl, visited Brooklyn Market and Wellington’s displays of City and Sea.

Terrazzo and decorative tiles in Wellington’s magnificent railway station of 1938


TV arts series The Gravy -which Tom produces- is about the work of New Zealand artists and craftspeople. Roger sat in on an editing session at the Park Road Post film studios in Miramar, Wellington.


New Zealand TV’s The Gravy features artists and craftspeople like Maurice Bennett


The friendly city of Wellington was home from home for us and hard to leave, but we crossed the Cook Strait to Picton and the South Island. The beautiful Upper Moutere area near Nelson was a new discovery.


I visited Anna Barnett’s pottery near Nelson in the beautiful Upper Moutere landscape


Here was a German-speaking community, the oldest pub in New Zealand, the Neudorf Winery, an organic fish and chip shop run by two guys on the country roadside, and Anna Barnett’s pottery.


Anna Barnett

With Anna Barnett of the Nelson Potters Association at her pottery in Sunrise Valley


Leaving this part of the South Island (and with no time to travel down the West Coast to explore its longstanding craft pottery traditions) we went through Marlborough and Kekerengu to my grandparents home town of Kaikoura. On our way we were held up on State Highway 1 by a house on the move, tilting from side to side and filling both sides of the road and its verges.


We follow a house along NZ’s main trunk road as it dodges the road signs on the verge.


North of Kaikoura at Juanita Edlemann’s Seaward Pottery right on the wave-swept coast I surveyed a selection of her fluid blue dishes and goblets. I chose the dish I wanted and left the money in the box.


In Kaikoura I visit my family’s graves and Juanita Edlemann’s Seaward Pottery


Then it was on to visit the dead before exploring deserted Amuri Bluff Boat Harbour where the pioneers’ heavy merino wool bales were once taken out to the ships by skiffs through the surf.  And then to meet hospitable cousins and family friends in Amberley, Christchurch, and Taitapu, and do some research on my dad’s late cobber, Kiwi scientist Jack Mitchell.

Angel at my table, Taitapu


Finally, before returning to Tom and Katie in Wellington, we called on Penicuik friends from Oxenfoord who are now growing flowers and fruits on the Banks Peninsula.


Friends from Scotland Page & Stuart are smallholding near Akaroa on Banks Peninsula


Our trip back to Wellington, and then on to Auckland, was all by rail, two truly memorable journeys with the ferry between.  Now home in Scotland I’m keen to maintain links between Scots and Kiwi potters.  And with SPA exhibitions in our sights this year, can I invite you to show an interest in two, three or possibly four venues this year –our annual show at Alloa in May, a northern selective show at Just Art in Fochabers in the autumn, next year’s annual show perhaps at Dumfries. And there’s possibility of ground floor displays at Edinburgh’s bus-friendly Ocean Terminal if exhibitors together stump up the fee.  Please don’t leave it too late, late me know now if you’re interested in all or any of these and I’ll confirm or cancel venue bookings to fit.  And does anyone want to suggest a different collaborative exhibition this year, with woodworkers, glassmakers, weavers or cutlers for example?  Let me have your thoughts at


Ocean Terminal beside Royal Yacht Britannia and the Scottish Government Offices

Links from my travels

In Singapore

In Melbourne

In Sydney

Auckland Peter Blake

Ceramic artists in Australasia

In Wellington

The Gravy West Coast special

The Gravy Maurice Bennett

The Gravy Peter Madden

The Gravy Liyen Chong

The Gravy Mat Hunkin

Wellington City and Sea

Te Papa Museum of New Zealand

Nelson Potters Association

Neudorf Winery Upper Moutere

more U-M

Galleries looking ahead

Alloa exhibition in May

Just Art Fochabers

Ocean Terminal Leith