Hark, the Clay Shed’s fundraising Christmas exhibition

Christmas is just around the corner and what better way to get cracking on decorating your house and buying presents then a visit to Raglan Clay Shed’s fundraising exhibition.

The Raglan Spirit of Christmas Art exhibition is on at the Old School Arts Centre until December 10, with all items for sale ranging in price from $5 to $500.

The exhibition is a fundraiser for the new Creative Space, a two-storey building that will replace the existing Clay Shed and will include a community room to be used by children’s dance, drama and theatre groups.

About 12 Clay Shed members and other Raglan artists have work included in the exhibition, with at least 25 per cent of the sales going towards fundraising efforts.

Organiser Susanne Giessen Prinz, who teaches children’s clay and has herself made clay plates and Christmas decorations for the fundraiser, says the exhibition is cash and carry, therefore always changing.

The exhibition opened on Saturday and includes more than just pottery. Fabric art, glass, paintings, prints, jewellery, driftwood Christmas trees and even festively packaged brownie mixture is up for sale.

“They look great,” says Susanne of the jars of brownie mix, “and I’ve been told they taste excellent.”

Susanne says the exhibition features work by established artists, such as the Monster Company, Denise Fort, Miranda Jane Caird and Jane Galloway, and residents who have only just started out in their craft.

“Some people only started pottery about three months ago but have already sold a piece,” she says, pointing to some clay native birds – a kokako, rock ren and bellbird – made by new Clay Shed member Anita Seddon.

“They are groovy, it’s a lot of work to have a piece like this.”

Glass Christmas decorations by Raewyn Fitch, who started her craft in June, have been selling like “hot cakes”.

“She has had to go home and make some more.”

For her own Christmas purchase, Susanne chooses a pendant – a pohutukawa flower set in resin – by Wonderland, who makes all sorts of “really quirky things”.

“First sale of the day,” she says, and rearranges the hole left by the hanging pendant.

Susanne, who sometimes feels like “the dragon” in the Clay Shed for forever telling everyone to clean up after themselves, says the old pottery studio is fast running out of space for the many members.

The Old School is a busy environment, she says, and demonstrates with a pirouette: “Many dancers also.”

* The Raglan Spirit of Christmas Art exhibition is open every day, 10am-2pm, at the Old School Arts Centre until December 10.

Inger Vos