The Changing Faces of Maitlia

The Changing Faces of Maitlia

Changing Faces of Maitlia” is the name chosen by Maitlia Potters to celebrate their 40th birthday. A number of events have been planned for August to recognise this achievement.

Maitlia Potters was formed in 1977 by a group of people who were the students of Mr. Ted Meredith, a well- known Maryborough potter. The word “Maitlia” is an aboriginal word for clay. The group originally met weekly at each other’s homes transporting their pottery wheels in the boot of their cars. As new members joined, the more experienced members helped the new comers.

In 1984 we took a courageous step and purchased a property in Albert Street, Maryborough. We became incorporated and began the business known as Bottlebrush Crafts. Craft classes in appliqué, patchwork, sketching, floristry, pottery and sculpture were offered and proved very popular. Children’s classes in pottery and sketching were always in demand. Exhibitions promoting the work of talented artists and craftspeople of the area were arranged and over the years saw some wonderful displays of quality hand-crafted items.

Seminars and workshops with recognised highly qualified tutors were periodically arranged to allow members to improve their skills and keep abreast of the latest trends. Getting out and about in the community, displaying and demonstrating at events and functions whenever possible was and still is an important function of the group. The teaching of pottery to the very young and the aged remains a priority.

In 2007 we moved to 30 Ferry Street and now we have eight groups meeting to exchange experiences. This is a major part of our operation. Even though the group was originally formed as a potters group, amendments to the Association rules allow all people interested in art and craft to apply for membership. We are a not for profit organisation committed to promoting the growth and development of arts, craft and pottery in the Maryborough area.

Fund raising is always a necessary part of any organisation. Over the years our winter soup nights have become legendary. The members provide a range of tasty soups and bread, and guests are able to choose a handmade pottery soup bowl from which to eat their soup and keep them as a memento of the evening.

It seemed appropriate that in celebrating our 40th birthday we should have a gala exhibition showcasing the work of not only our members and past members but the groups who meet at Bottlebrush Crafts. This exhibition will be officially opened on 5 August at 3.30pm at Gatakers Artspace in Maryborough. Those groups represented will be Heritage City Porcelain Painters, Fraser Coast Lace Makers, Merry River Social Art Group, Sew Wednesday, Dolls with Attitude, Card Makers, Spinners, Weavers and Dyers of Maryborough, Mudlarks Sculpture Group and Maitlia Potters. We are grateful to Regional Arts Development Fund for the assistance afforded to us in this birthday celebration project.

Maitlia Potters has grown from humble beginnings to what it is today. Our face over 40 years has changed and to celebrate this, we are conducting a mask competition which is open to adults and children of the area. The closing date for this is 12 August and entries must be received at Bottlebrush Crafts, 30 Ferry Street by this date. There will be a Mask Exhibition wine and cheese opening and presentation of prizes at Bottlebrush Crafts on 18 August at 6.00pm. On 19 August also at Bottlebrush Crafts, we will be holding an Open Day. Craft groups such as the China Painters, Potters, Sculptors, Lace Makers, Merry River Painters, Doll makers, Spinners and Weavers and Card Makers will be demonstrating their crafts between the hours of 9.00am and 3.00pm.

Members, past and present will have the opportunity to get together and reminisce about past experiences at a birthday dinner to be held on 5 August. It is hoped these events throughout August will not only be a celebration of past years but a chance to encourage people in this community to try a craft. Hobbies can be not only relaxing but bring great pride and satisfaction when a project is completed. – Story by Carolyn Burns

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