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20. Hurunui River Sand & The Greta cutting

Updated: Oct 1, 2020

Based on 'Rock glazes of NZ' Minna Bondy

Sample 83. Hurunui River Sand

Probably derived from greywacke

The Hurunui flows through several greywacke gorges, the beach is rocky the sand is coarse. The sample was taken from an area of finer sand, though it will still require milling.

This area is known as the Greta Valley and local potters come to the area for a mudstone glaze material referred to as "The Greta cutting".

Below: Autumn, Greta Cutting, Aotearoa New Zealand, 1956.

While in Christchurch I had the privilege of spending an afternoon with Ngaire Van Grondelle and viewed her amazing collection of ceramics. Ngaire is a founding member of the Halswell pottery group in Christchurch and is a wealth of knowledge on New Zealand Studio potters. Ngaire sent me to the Greta Valley to get a sample of the mudstone as its a material she used often as a glaze.

Below: Greta cutting glaze on a Ngaire Van Grondelle mug

The area has obviously changed significantly in the last few years, the old bridge has been taken out and replaced with a culvert. The original cutting is difficult to access but the new road has created another cutting that has crumbled to the roadside and is easily accessible.

I'm really looking forward to having a play with this material when back in the studio.

20A, 20B

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