Armidale Pottery Club opens for annual Christmas sale 2017

PASSIONATE POTTERS: Beth Ley and Joe Sartori are busy preparing for the Armidale Pottery Club's annual Christmas sale this weekend. Photo: Rachel Baxter
PASSIONATE POTTERS: Beth Ley and Joe Sartori are busy preparing for the Armidale Pottery Club's annual Christmas sale this weekend. Photo: Rachel Baxter

The Armidale Pottery Club has been crafting unique art and shaping up-and-coming local ceramicists for almost 50 years.

This week the team are gearing up for their annual Christmas sale.

Long-time club member Beth Ley said the sale was an opportunity to showcase members’ work from throughout the year - and there’s plenty of great gifts going cheap.

“Everyone’s work is different and we’ll hopefully compliment each other with the various things we do,” she told The Express on Thursday.

“More and more young people are becoming interested in pottery which is fantastic.”

Mrs Ley said sculptor Carl Merten had a range of items up for sale.

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“Carl does quite quirky sculptures that make everyone laugh,” she said.

“There’s also Honey Greenwood who has been doing the carved pottery and the beautiful ducks.”

And it’s not a quick process.

“The quick bit is the bit on the wheel but there’s days of mixing up glazes, days firing it … it takes two firings,” Mrs Ley said.

“Cleaning up your mess takes the most time.”

The club have about eight wheels and meet on Fridays and Sundays.

“Sundays we’ve been giving people an experience to try potting and see if they like it,” Mrs Ley said.

“All the people that came last year, we’ve got about four new members and a few more people wanting to get involved next year.

Joe Sartori has been making pottery in Armidale for more than 40 years.

He said the club was a great place for beginners to start.

“It usually takes a few years to really get going but they enjoy it and on the weekend is really good, Beth comes in to teach them,” he said.

“I’ve only been in the club for about three years but I used to have my own studio so I just came over with my tables and the wheel and joined the club.”

GIFTS: Members of the Armidale Pottery Club have been busy all year preparing unique art and usable items for this weekend's Christmas sale. Photo: Rachel Baxter

GIFTS: Members of the Armidale Pottery Club have been busy all year preparing unique art and usable items for this weekend's Christmas sale. Photo: Rachel Baxter

Mrs Ley said often pottery is easier than it looks.

“It looks so easy when you see someone throw a pot on the wheel that’s been potting for 40 years,” she said.

“But everyone who has been coming on Sunday all managed to get some pots off and they’re all very thrilled.”

Mrs Ley joined the club in 1980 – and at the time knew very little about the clay craft.

“It was a well-established club then,” she said.

“I wen’t to TAFE and did some classes and I loved it.

“It’s just so relaxing and it becomes a social club where people help each other, you know them and there is support around.

“Everyone is very free sharing their ideas and how to do things.

“If you try a new method and it works then you share the ideas with other people.

“It’s a lovely club, very friendly people.”

DELICATE: Joe Sartori has been a ceramicist for more than 40 years and has a variety of items on sale this weekend including this adorable snail. Photo: Rachel Baxter

DELICATE: Joe Sartori has been a ceramicist for more than 40 years and has a variety of items on sale this weekend including this adorable snail. Photo: Rachel Baxter

Mrs Ley said there’s still a lot to do before they club opens to the public this weekend for their annual Pottery Sale.

They will be open December 9 and 10 (Saturday and Sunday) from 8:30am til 4pm and 9am til 12 noon on Sunday.

The club is located behind the town pool at 186 Dumaresq Street (road via pool car park).