Bruce and I moved into Hunt Terrace in 1993 after a promotion Bruce had to do, introducing a new clay body to potters in the Nelson area. He had said to me that morning, ‘I’m going to find our dream house today.’ ‘Riii-ght!! OK, I thought, dreams are free. The property had a purpose-built pottery with five kilns, with a pole house in the trees. We could not believe our luck.
Bruce started potting at college in Christchurch in 1969, under the guidance of Mari Tothill. His working life evolved around pottery and his trade, Chair and Frame making. So, to finally realise a dream, was the icing on the cake. He now had a place for the spare stereo.
When we turned 40, Bruce and I started potting full-time. After a few years we decided that we wanted to travel. So many young people were talking about their OE and we wanted to have the same experience. In 2000 we left New Zealand shores for 3 ½ years. Our base was in the UK and we travelled extensively through Europe.
On arrival home we decided to set up a bed and breakfast. We have been running it now since 2007 and just love it. Meeting people from all over the world is fantastic, and it has helped that we have travelled, often to their country of origin.
Most of our guests have never made a pot before and are really surprised with the end result, finding they had a hidden talent.
There is a Gallery on site, which is set up for pottery lessons and demonstrations. It is full of our work, pots, cards, paintings and brightly painted tables and chairs for children, which Bruce makes.
I am an artist and I decorated the pots for Bruce when we worked together in the 1990’s. My paintings are of Nelson scenes and I use watercolours, acrylics and oil sticks. Cards have been printed of the paintings for those who want a smaller version of my work.
Recently we fired up the wood kiln and it took over 24 hours to reach 1300 degrees Celsius. The last time we fired it was 18 years ago. Where has the time gone? The pots have been decorated with the New Zealand fern, which really suits the natural glazes and flame flashes, which are the result of a wood firing.