The Laughing Potter, Andrew Killick had senior citizens enthralled last week when he talked about his lifelong passion for the craft.

He was the guest speaker at a Salvation Army CAMEO (come and meet each other) event which attracted about 30 people.

Andrew was introduced to pottery by his parents who were both keen potters, and handed down their skills and expertise.

The Laughing Pottery Studio in Waihi had also gone from strength to strength.

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''I can't keep up and I am making so many pots. I'm doing a lot of teaching too which I've discovered I love. People can come into me and just sit and have an experience where they make three pots and start to learn.''

Some people learnt quicker than others but there were opportunities to hire a wheel, he says.

Andrew made memorial pieces for pets, which were popular.

He could make dog bowls or urns or anything the pet enjoyed.

''We can also do pieces that incorporate the ashes into the clay. I take photos of that process as it goes through so it becomes part of the story of the pet.''

''That means the ashes aren't going into a plastic bag or into a box but being made into something special.''

Meanwhile, audience members at CAMEO got to admire other pots and vases Andrew brought along.

Edith Mudgway liked the CAMEO events because they were great fun and informative.

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Val Maynard says she had been coming to the meetings for about three years.

''I have enjoyed every meeting. They are always different and they have wonderful guest speakers like Andrew who was very interesting.''

Salvation Army Waihi Major Murray Sanson says the CAMEO group was designed for people to meet others and had a strong following.

''It is also good for those people who may be lonely or isolated. The group can make your day feel a little bit brighter.''

About CAMEO
* Held every second Thursday of the month
* Designed for people who want to meet others
* Guest speaker every month with games and a shared lunch
* Everyone welcome
* At the Salvation Army in Seddon Street