The Fletcher Brownbuilt Pottery Award

On exhibition in the Auckland Institute and Museum for a week in June was a collection of pots chosen from entries in the Fletcher Brownbuilt Pottery Award.

Over sixty entries were received for the award this year. It was run in conjunction with the Auckland Studio Potters and judged in the Museum by a well-known Australian potter and lecturer in ceramics, Les Blakebrough.

JOHN ANDERSON Pot-bellied stove
in salt-glazed stoneware

John Anderson, a Wellsford potter took the award and a cheque for $1,000 with his entry - a pot-bellied stove in salt glazed stoneware. And two merit awards, each worth $250, were won by Brian Garside, of Ramarama, and Lawrence Ewing, of Amberly, north of Christchurch.

Mr Blakebrough praised the range of the entries and said he was pleasantly surprised at the volume of excellent work being produced by New Zealand potters. He also commended the support of Fletcher Brownbuilt and gave credit to the Auckland Studio Potters and the company for the initiative shown in instigating the Award.

Mr Warwick Lidgard, president of the Studio Potters, said the award gave heart to potters, not just because of the influx of money, but because such an award gave them the opportunity to become involved in the challenge of a meeting of potters. Replying, Mr Trevor Hunt, general manager of Fletcher Brownbuilt, said that in promoting the Award the company was recognising a responsibility of firms to foster the arts in New Zealand.

Entries for this competition ranged in size from a small trinket-box to a set of three massive pots. A different category or theme will be chosen each year for the Award: this year each potter submitted a pot or set of pots which used the medium of ceramics to highlight the sculptural content of the entry. Pots from the competition were on sale at the Museum for a week, and a 20 per cent commission from each sale went to the Auckland Studio Potters to assist their craft centre at Onehunga.

The Fletcher Brownbuilt Award will be held again in 1978 (the organisers have yet to decide the theme of next year's awards).

Originally published in Art New Zealand 6 June/July 1977