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Ready to go . . . South Canterbury Pottery Group vice-president Callum McLaughlin and lead tutor Marita Bool hold their own works that will be exhibited, while other works on the table have been selected in readiness for next month's show. PHOTO: CLAIRE ALLISON

by Claire Allison

Top of the Pots is about to go on show at the Aigantighe Art Gallery.

The South Canterbury Pottery Group is preparing to hold its 48th annual exhibition next month.

Running from August 1-16 at the Aigantighe, the exhibition will feature 75 works.

Guest artists Sandy Davies Andrews and Judith Cordeaux will exhibit hung works as part of the show.

Dunedin-based potter Kate Fitzharris – who will also exhibit – travelled to Timaru over the weekend to select the pottery works to be exhibited, whittling down 90 submissions put forward by members of the group and students.

A number of elements were considered, including artistic expression, technical ability, and a body of work in which works relate to each other, such as a glaze or a concept.

Lead tutor Marita Bool said the group had a long association with the Aigantighe.

“We are fortunate that we have such a quality gallery to show our works in.”

Ms Bool said a large number of younger potters were coming through now, the revived interest in the art form being at least partly attributable to British television programme The Great Pottery Throw Down.

Encouraging new members and students to exhibit helped keep the South Canterbury Pottery group strong.

The group’s vice-president, Callum McLaughlin, was one of the younger members, and had been involved for about five years.

Ms Bool said there were now waiting lists for classes held by the group’s three tutors.

The annual exhibition often attracted repeat buyers, people coming to add something to their pottery collection.

“People are wanting bespoke, authentic work. They’re wanting hand-made. People would rather have one or two beautiful mugs, they’re choosing quality and uniqueness over quantity, having something that’s a one-off, that no-one else has got.”