With a new name and new location the Norsewood Pottery Club has taken on a new exciting direction after having been resurrected last year.
Begun originally in 1969 as Pioneer Museum Crafts inspired by potter Mary Murphy, the club kept that title until a few years ago when it adopted its present name. In the early days there was quite a large group of ladies creating items from clay and pit firing them before they invested in a more modern kiln.
The present kiln had been used since 1990. Many much-admired items were produced and displayed in the window before the front of the pottery shop became the Norsewood Information Centre.
But as times changed the numbers dwindled and the kiln lay idle.
It was May 20 last year that the resurrected club held its first workshop after Debbie Van Asch thought it was worth restarting the club in the room behind the Information Centre.
With a steadily growing club membership and the museum requiring its room the Tararua District Council offered Matthews Park Hall. There hasn't been anyone using the hall for more than 15 years until this year when it was used for the Viking Festival.
The Viking Festival committee is spending the money it raised from the festival on improving the kitchen facilities for the community and the campers, and there has been a good deal of upgrade on the building with ceilings replaced and furniture and tables added, some of which came from the now closed Norsewool Shop.
This is an ideal arrangement. The building is much bigger with two rooms, one of which now houses the kiln and the other with two wheels, other work stations and display room.
With the location change comes a name change to Keramikk of Norsewood (Ceramics of Norsewood).
Debbie says, "The club meets every Monday 11am onwards till about 2-3pm (as long as people want to stay, to be honest). I am in the process of organising workshops and classes on Saturdays and we hope to have them available as soon as I finalise a few more things. We are having so much interest it's fantastic and we are really letting the club grow and grow as now we have the space to do so.
"The club was originally intended to be a social and arty gathering of women in a rural district to help people connect. So, I feel it is very important to keep this welcoming theme going and include all other members in the wider district that wish to join our growing little club.
"Even the campers have popped in and had a go. We have also kept the costings as low as we can so it is very affordable for all."
Debbie has set up a Facebook page Keramikk of Norsewood (it means ceramics in Norwegian).
If you would like to join, contact Debbie on 021 206 2890.