The acquisition of the Simon Manchester Collection of studio ceramics has enabled Rick Rudd's Quartz Museum of Studio Ceramics to put on a show containing a comprehensive selection of the work of renowned New Zealand potter Peter Stichbury, 1924-2013.
Peter enrolled at Auckland Teachers College in 1946 and was introduced to the potter's wheel in a craft course with Hilary Clark.
From 1949-51 he was an art and craft specialist for primary schools while continuing learning from RN Field at Avondale College evening classes. In 1957 he was awarded an Association of NZ Art Society Fellowship to study under Bernard Leach at St Ives in England.
In 1958, he and his wife, Diane, went to Abuja in Nigeria to join Michael Cardew at his Pottery Training Centre. They returned to New Zealand the following year.
One of the pieces in the exhibition is a remnant of the work produced during that sojourn in Nigeria, most of which was sold off to pay for the trip.
There are more than 80 pieces, all of them utilitarian.
"That is what Peter did," says Rick. "He was a domestic potter and people used it.
"This takes you back to the 1970s pottery shop, although this would be a high class one, obviously.
"In the early days he used to fire at Crum brickworks in Grey Lynn, where they did salt-glazed pipes and things, and there were several [potters] who used to bung pots in from time to time."
Such work is from the 1950s and is represented in the exhibition.
There's a salt-glazed teapot with a double cane handle that Rick feels was probably fired at Crum around that time.
"It's got that grunty feel about it: I just love it.
"He was potting well into the 2000s, and he was teaching until quite late."
Rick describes Peter's work as "warm and accessible. You can see yourself using a lot of it."
Plates on the wall of the exhibition are as artistic as Peter got. Some of the decorations are produced with ironsand.
One of the pieces on show has a threaded top, something quite unusual for a New Zealand potter.
Astonishingly, Peter Stichbury was also an adept luthier, making violins, cellos and other classical stringed instruments.
The Peter Stichbury exhibition is on until September 20.
Coming up next is the Emerging Artists exhibition, for which Rick has almost 70 entries, all vying for the $12,000 in prize money.