MUDDY FINGERS: Isla, 8, gets her hands into the clay with Linda Cunningham at Pebuku Ceramic Design studio in Murwillumbah as part of the 2018 North Coast Mud Trail. Linda will be offering visitors the chance to have a go on the wheel at her studio in the M-Arts Precinct.
MUDDY FINGERS: Isla, 8, gets her hands into the clay with Linda Cunningham at Pebuku Ceramic Design studio in Murwillumbah as part of the 2018 North Coast Mud Trail. Linda will be offering visitors the chance to have a go on the wheel at her studio in the M-Arts Precinct. Contributed

Skipping along the Mud Trail

THE ancient art of ceramics will once again be on display, when 12 pottery studios from across the Northern Rivers throw open their doors this weekend as part of the annual Mud Trail.

Three studios from the Tweed will be participating in the weekend trail, including Tweed Unlimited Arts at Banora Point, Pebuku at Murwillumbah and the Murwillumbah Potters at Fernvale.

Part of the Australian Ceramics Association's national Open Studios program, the North Coast Mud Trail features local ceramic artists and potters from Fernleigh in the south to Tweed Heads in the north.

The North Coast Mud Trail provides a rare opportunity for art lovers, adventurers, locals and visitors to step inside the creative workshops of leading regional artists.

Anne Lee of the Murwillumbah Potters placing a pot into the old wood fired kiln at Fernvale Hall. 
Photo: Nolan Verheij-Full / Tweed Daily News
Anne Lee of the Murwillumbah Potters placing a pot into the old wood fired kiln at Fernvale Hall. Photo: Nolan Verheij-Full / Tweed Daily News Nolan Verheij-full

North Coast ceramic artist Suvira McDonald said the Northern Rivers region was home to a vibrant community of creative talent, with traditional and contemporary ceramic artists and potters at the forefront.

"This is a great opportunity to step inside the studios of local potters, to meet the artists in person and experience first-hand their unique creative processes,” she said.

"Once a year our artists open their spaces to the public for one weekend only, giving visitors a unique opportunity to see demonstrations, hear artists' talks, participate in workshops, learn about their techniques, and purchase ceramics directly from the artists.

"Many hundreds of beautiful original handmade artworks have been made featuring multiple methods and diverse finishes, as varied as the potters themselves.”

Veteran potter Ronda Luland hands one of the Murwillumbah Potters their work from the kiln.
Veteran potter Ronda Luland hands one of the Murwillumbah Potters their work from the kiln. Cheryl Campbell

On Sunday morning, weather permitting, the Murwillumbah Potters will carefully lift the sheets of corrugated iron off the brick pit and unveil dozens of pots, nestled in ash.

These pots have been burned in pure flame and left to cool for two days, in a process that dates back thousands of years.

The pottery at Fernvale will be open from 9am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Guests can tour the pottery, set in a 100-year-old schoolhouse, and see the different kilns in the shed, with plenty of pieces for sale.

The Mud Trail is on this weekend, highlighting the ancient art of pot making. Ann's Pots pictured here.
The Mud Trail is on this weekend, highlighting the ancient art of pot making. Ann's Pots pictured here. Contributed

Workshops and demonstrations will also be held at Tweed Unlimited Arts at Banora Point and Pebuku at Murwillumbah.

There will be cups, plates, bowls, tea pots, sculptures and much more for sale in the Fernvale Hall, as well as food and drink. Potters will give wheel demonstrations and clay workshops.

People who want to head out on the North Coast Mud Trail can pick up a mud trail map at local cafes, galleries and artists' supply shops, or check out the North Coast Mud Trail web page www.northcoastmudtrail.com.au

Mud Trail

  • What: North Coast Ceramics open studios
  • When: 9am to 4pm, August 18, 19
  • Map and details: www. northcoastmudtrail.com.au


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