Throwing a Clay Bowl

I am inspired by creative people. I love finding one of these gems. The best ones go about their day, working their completely unrelated job, itching to get home so that they can dabble. If you are a creative person, you will know, it’s just so important to find time to unleash this need. Whether it makes you money, or costs you money, it’s benefits are rewarding.

My mother, Julia, is one of those gems.

She has recently reignited her passion for the wheel.

These creative tendencies are often very private and quiet, almost meditative for the artist. However, with their cover blown, they are often very animated and expressive when sharing their passion with a fellow dabbler of art. These people are often extremely humble and modest, and are wonderful people to know and to be around.

My mother shared with me her talent. Making a bowl on a potters wheel from clay.

Throwing a clay bowl
The clay is placed in the centre of the bat
Throwing a clay bowl
The wheel spins slowly while she gets the clay into position, and creates a cone like shape. She presses down in the centre with her thumbs to form a well.
Throwing a clay bowl
She slowly brings the clay out and up to form desired bowl size and thickness
Throwing a clay bowl
Water is keep nearby to keep her hands and the bowl damp.

oct1 047

oct1 048

Throwing a clay bowl
Using a wire she trims and evens the edge of the bowl, which is removed.

Throwing a clay bowl

Throwing a clay bowl
She gently pinched the bowls edge to form a tidy rounded lip

Throwing a clay bowl

oct1 059

Throwing a clay bowl
She runs a damp sponge along the inside and the outside of the spinning bowl to get a smooth finish
Throwing a clay bowl
With the wheel stopped, she runs a wire underneath the bowl to remove it from the bat

Throwing a clay bowl oct1 063

She leaves the bowl over night to dry a little.

Then she places it upside down on the wheel to trim the and shape the outside of the  bowl and its base.

oct1 080 oct1 081 oct1 082 oct1 083 oct1 084

The clay is put into a kiln twice. It is first biscuit fired at 800 C, then a glaze is applied and it is baked again, at over 1000 C.

Julia is a member of the local pottery club where she has access to a kiln, glazing and most importantly, other amazing creative potters!

She works from her studio in Whangapoua. Her bowls can be found at Luke’s Kitchen in Kuaotunu, on the Coromandel Pennisula and via her website juliapots. 

 

 

Playing in Puketui Valley

One of my favourite places to play is the Puketui Valley Broken Hills walking tracks. The turn off is pretty much opposite the turnoff to Pauanui on State Highway 25. Morrison Road turns into Puketui Valley Rd, which takes you past the Te Timatanga earthship, and onto a scenic stretch of gravel road. Don’t mistake this road for Puketui Rd, which comes off the Kopu-Hikuai Rd, State Highway 25a.

Make sure you let someone know where you are going and what time you are due back, as there is no cell phone coverage once you’re in there!

Drive across an amazing bridge and you will soon see the tranquil DOC Campsite at Broken Hills (which unfortunately does not allow dogs.) The Broken Hills tracks  do tho, so I took my boy, Doug along for the day.

Further up the road you will come to two different track entry points, and roadside parking. The first offers two short walks, both easy walks and are child friendly.

At the end of  Puketui Valley Rd is the entrance to an array of tracks of varying distances.

I like to photograph the maps if I didn’t already have one, so that once in there I can look back on my phone to see which way to go, or what it is I’ve stumbled upon.

I had about 2 hours to play, so decided on the Collins Track, taking the Water Race Tracks.

As with most New Zealand bush walks, the protection of the native Kauri tree is of great importance. Kauri Dieback refers to the disease Phytophthora agathidicida. The spores from this fungus-like disease live in soil and are spread with soil movement. That is why they ask you to clean your gear after venturing into one of New Zealand’s native forests and to keep to the tracks, staying off the Kauri roots. These tracks however did not have the sanitising stations which I’ve seen at other bush walks.

In the 1900’s Broken Hills was a site for Gold Mining. This type of alluvial mining was tough. It involved digging and sifting through mud, sand and gravel using shovels sieves, or even bare hands. Batteries were built to process the quartz found. The quartz was battered into powder by massive stamper which released the gold particles so they could be chemically recovered using cyanide. This process required water and that’s what the race tracks were built for. To ensure a good supply to the plant.

Gold mining in New Zealand

The track lead through three short tunnels. If you are afraid of the dark, or not keen on weta , I advise you to clamber over the tunnels following the narrow paths!

I took the 3rd Water Race Track, and added an extra 20min to my trek, an awful lot steps but some pretty amazing views!

Then, the descent, which took me past some pretty scary looking old mines and thankfully back to the double tunnels! Oh yay, wetas again!

 

By that stage I was well ready for some open space and enjoyed the fresh scenic walk along the rivers edge….

back to the short bridge I crossed at the start.

But this time I notice a little path just to the right of the Water Race Track. I had a quick peek and saw a cute little stream, and Doug had a drink. The underside of the bridge was pretty cool too. Even if you aren’t into big bush walks, at least park at the end of the Puketui Valley Rd and walk 10min to this little bridge, check out the waterfall, and then 5 min further up are the amazing river views. You won’t be disappointed.

 

For more information on New Zealand tourist attractions and walks

call in and see the volunteers at

Tairua Information Centre

 223 Main Rd Tairua, (07) 864 7580

Find them on Facebook too!

Twin Kauri Walk

This is a great stop, enroute up the Coromandel coast. The Twin Kauris can’t be missed as you wind your way up the hill, 2km out of Tairua, heading North.

To help protect these ancient trees from Kauri Dieback , a fungus-like disease that is specific to kauri, there is a sanitising station. You are required to scrub dirt of your boots and to spray them with the solution provided before and after being in the forest.

A perfect 20 min loop track to stretch your legs. So many tourists stop and have their photo taken in front of the huge Twin Kauris, but they don’t realise what a quick little trek is just steps away. In the bush they will see more of these unique natives, a trickling stream and a stunning canopy of intertwined braches, vines and leaves. Make sure you take the time to stop and look up!

The track is thankfully marked with little orange triangles,  otherwise I think I would have gotten lost ; ) The track isn’t difficult. It’s a short fun walk that even little kids can mange. Mine love spotting the next triangle!

This time I took my 1 year old in the backpack.

luluslists.com

#goodforyoursoul #thecoromandel #tairuainforcentre

For more information on New Zealand tourist attractions and walks

call in and see the volunteers at

Tairua Information Centre

 223 Main Rd Tairua, (07) 864 7580

info.tairua@xtra.co.nz

Find them on Facebook too!

Pauanui Summit Hike

Well I’m glad I did it, but I’m not sure I’ll do it again. Purely because they don’t allow dogs, and I’ve gotta exercise those guys too!

I found the track really hard to follow. I came across a few forks in the path, and just keep taking the path heading up and to the left, that way I knew I would be heading in the direction of the headland point.

Thankfully it was a drizzly wet day, and not a stinking hot and humid one like we’ve been having lately. I managed to keep to the times allotted on the sign and made it to Pauanui Summit in 45min.

From there it was onto Cave Bay which was a much different terrain. The steep, muddy, well rooted, twisting track that lead up to the Trig Station gradually changed to a more moderate track, however due to the pine needle littering the pathway I did take my first wee skid.

My only companion, a little native Fantail

20160228_145757

An hour and a half later I found myself at the point of the headland. I looked around for a path to take me back to the beach, but found none, just a sign:

pauanui summit nz new zealand native bush walk

Probably should warn people of this at the start of the track?

The bouldery bays were quite a welcomed change from being in the bush for the past 2 hours. I carefully rambled my way across the rocky shoreline. The caves were pretty awesome. If I were ever homeless, that’s where you will find me! I had a lot of fun in this expedition taking photos of the moss in the damp bush and then the beautiful lichen growing on the dry salted rocks.

 

#goodforyoursoul #thecoromandel #tairuainforcentre

For more information on New Zealand tourist attractions and walks

call in and see the volunteers at

Tairua Information Centre

 223 Main Rd Tairua, (07) 864 7580

info.tairua@xtra.co.nz

Find them on Facebook too!