Around 70 potters from across Victoria and New South Wales will be descending on Warrandyte for the 17th annual Pottery Expo.
With a variety of wares, from fine porcelain to garden sculpture, the potters will display their creations along the banks of the Yarra on February 25-26.
The Pottery Expo at Warrandyte was instigated by local studio potter, Jane Annois in February 2001, after she saw the French Marche de Potiers [Potters Markets] of France.
“The first time I went to France, to Lyon, I was blown away, there was 170 stands of potters, and you couldn’t move, there were so many people, it was so exciting, the French said, ‘you don’t have potters’ markets in Australia? and they said you ’must start one’. So I did,” said Ms Annois.
The exhibitors have been invited on a basis of excellence, with variety and innovation foremost in the selection panel’s criteria.
This year’s feature artist at the Warrandyte Expo is John Tuckwell from Bellingen in NSW, who works in porcelain coloured slips.
“He is also going to give us a work-shop on the Wednesday March 1 at the Mechanics Institute, for beginners and experienced potters,” Ms Annois said.
Several local artists will also join the expo, including three members of the Pittard family from Eltham, who have been taking part since the very first expo, and works by members of the Warrandyte Stonehouse artists’ collective will be on display.
Another innovative local artist whose works will be on display is Jack Latti from Research, who creates ceramic pieces for use in the garden.
“He is a horticulturalist as well and he actually designs the pots to suit the plant,” said Ms Annois.
Aside from the works on sale at the expo, there will be activities for both kids and adults, with Manningham Craft Works providing clay work-shops for children to make their own creations and demonstrations of clay throwing.
Forums on the business of art will be on offer for adults, as well as wine tastings, musicians and a Saturday night dinner on the banks of the river.
The Pottery Expo runs from 10am until 5:30pm on both February 25 and 26. Entry is free.