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New Zealand Rock Glazes

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

Dear All, just writing to let you know about a project I'm working on over the next few months.

I'm Janeen Page a potter from Taranaki and have been a member of the New Plymouth Potters Club for the last 15 years. I make domestic stoneware glazed with rock glazes from the Taranaki region.

I first came across rock glazes within the recipe books at New Plymouth Potters and found it fascinating to delve into the pre-commercial ingredients the New Zealand geography had to offer early potters and the many wonderful glazes that were made from New Zealand resources in these early studio ceramics.

In 2013 I came across a book called Rock Glazes of New Zealand by Minna Bondy (1960) Bondy shared my interest in rock glazes and traveled the length of New Zealand collecting samples to test for their use as glaze materials. Bondys book shows recipes and temperatures that she tested, but results are limited in both description and colour. Bondy is mentioned in J.C. Schofield's ‘Materials for NZ potters’ and she worked with Barry Brickell to successfully mill rocks, there is very little other information on her work.

It has long been my goal to revisit Bondy’s research and document further information on potters who worked with New Zealand glaze ingredients.

Many New Zealand Studio Potters of the early years are passing on, and it's vital we have a resource for this information, and imperative we record this information now.

I applied to the Creative New Zealand continuity fund and was successful in my application to fund this research and fieldwork.

Following Bondys book as a field guide I will spend three months collecting samples and documenting the areas where she sourced a wide variety of rock from volcanic areas, river beds, and igneous rock deposits in the North and South Island. I will then return to Taranaki to test, fire, and document samples.

I would love to engage the ceramic community in this project via social media and my blog. I have also created a google map documenting the sites potters have sourced glaze materials from. This map can contain photographs of rocks, properties, sites, recipes and results. I would love for this to become an open resource for recording knowledge on this subject in the future.

This project is specifically focused on Bondy’s work but I would like to research other local knowledge to contribute to this map. I have some of Barry Brickell's locations from “A New Zealand potters Dictionary” and those locations mentioned in Schofield's book.

I invite those of you who would like to contribute to this research to get in touch with me. Perhaps you also use rock glazes, or know of a potter that did. Is there a recipe in your club that uses a particular rock or do you know of a particular river, beach or cutting potters sourced materials from? Do you own pots that are Minna Bondys or have pots that use NZ glazes and demonstrate the unique New Zealand palette. I would like to stress I'm not interested in clay bodys, just materials and glazes.

I'm also available along the route in July for chats and cups of tea and to visit other potters and clubs, please contact me and tell me where you are so I can get in touch. The project runs from July to September and I'm contactable at all times on Janeenpage@gmail.com or 0277597600

My website is janeenpage.com if you wish to sign up and follow my blog I look forward to sharing this journey with you all

Facebook Janeen Page Potter or Instagram janeen.page

Please feel free to forward this email to anyone you feel would be interested

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