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My friend, Terry Davies has passed this to me. barry Brickell has passed away. He was a rural self-sufficient potter in new Zealand and was once visited by Bernard Leach.

This movie is very dated , especially the sound track. Barry built a small railroad to help tourists reach his studio. He also transported locally dug clay to his studio. Pretty amazing.

http://www.nzonscreen.com/title/barry-brickell-potter-1970

 

Marcia

Min, vinks, Joseph F and 1 other like this

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I met the man when we were traveling in N.Z.What a hair raising ride up to his studio. The track went through the middle of the pottery and he could haul clay up the hill and pots down.

He had a lot of apprentices working at the pottery. What a beautiful place. What a character.

He will be missed.

TJR.

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Excellent video.

 

He is the guy, that many of us here have joked about.  "You are not a real potter unless you; make your own glazes, build your own kiln, dig your own clay, etc."  Not only did he do that, but he built his own railroad!!!  

LeeU likes this

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I too visited him in the 90's on our New Zealand trip. The railway was amazing .I rode the train  up to pottery.

The thing I will always recall about him and after you view the film you may get it was his feet-He did not wear shoes and his feet had elephant skin . Seeing those feet will always stick on my head. He was an amazing fellow.Sorry to see him go.He was a character.

Marcia Selsor likes this

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The video was amazing. I couldn't get over him walked around bare foot like Mark is talking about. I would have loved to visit his studio. I hope that someone carries on his tradition and his studio.

 

His big pots look fantastic. What a cool place.

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Excellent video.

 

He is the guy, that many of us here have joked about.  "You are not a real potter unless you; make your own glazes, build your own kiln, dig your own clay, etc."  Not only did he do that, but he built his own railroad!!!

 

Yes indeed ... I would double dare anyone to have challenged his 'real potter' status.

 

They might have just skipped by it in the video, but it looked like he had pretty great clay ...

For those who visited ... Did he have to dry it out and sieve it to get out rocks and twigs etc?

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There is a book about his life and photos of his work. I will recommend "His Own Steam"

 

I had the full non-public tour, including unloading kilns, four years ago. As a gift for my involvement in Wellington I was given his book signed by members of the organization and Barry as well. His philosophies are part of my pottery foundation.

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Absolutely amazing, such energy, passion and vision. What pots..looked like he fired his kiln with some sort of coal.

Glad to hear he had apprentices, would take a special person to carry on in this tradition.

TJR did you really ride this railway? Don't think your travel insurance would have covered you!

Thanks for sharing MArcia

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He was one of memories of New Zealand's Cormandel area on the north Island. I went out there to visit him. My friend who was  potter for 35 years in Nelson on the south Island suggested we visit Him while heading south. He was a high point . He did have a lot of folks working for him. We visited a lot of potters most around the south Island Nelson area

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He was one of memories of New Zealand's Cormandel area on the north Island. I went out there to visit him. My friend who was  potter for 35 years in Nelson on the south Island suggested we visit Him while heading south. He was a high point . He did have a lot of folks working for him. We visited a lot of potters most around the south Island Nelson area

Now Mark you do not need to build a railroad! Just work at doing less.

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Absolutely amazing, such energy, passion and vision. What pots..looked like he fired his kiln with some sort of coal.

Glad to hear he had apprentices, would take a special person to carry on in this tradition.

TJR did you really ride this railway? Don't think your travel insurance would have covered you!

Thanks for sharing MArcia

 

He fired with every combustible material in his lifetime. The kilns in action today are diesel drip burners and wood. Back in the day he was featured for using coal as well.

 

New Zealand has full accident coverage (even for visitors) for treatment in the country :-)

 

 

The Nelson area has some of the nicest clay in the world. It is the hub for pottery in NZ.

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I may have mentioned this years ago but since this is a new Zealand post I will mention it again.

I have a potter friend who recently retired In Nelson New Zealand. He was a full time potter there for many decades.

When I visited in the later 90s he told me as well as other potters that for many years New Zealand did not allow any imports-meaning no inexpensive ceramic items.

So if you wanted say a dinnerware set a local potter made it for you-no walmarts or dollar stores to buy cheap stuff.

Potters in the 70's 80's and some 90's made huge $$.

The government in the 90's changed policy's and imports where allowed in.Mainly from China

This crashed the the hand made ceramics field and about 1/3 of the potters went out of business.

My friend switched gears and used his teaching credentials  to teach as well as taking locals on international travel trips.

So he split his life into 3 professions because of the import deal.

He eventually fell into slip casting seagulls with metal feet and did that for a few decades and was well know for these on New Zealand .

I have one in the yard it has a fish in its mouth.

Since he retired (which was because of zoning issues concerning his studio kiln placement which became an issue after 30 years) he sold that business and now runs his vacation rentals in Nelson on his property.

There are some great potters in Nelson as mentioned above if you visit look some up.

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Absolutely amazing, such energy, passion and vision. What pots..looked like he fired his kiln with some sort of coal.

Glad to hear he had apprentices, would take a special person to carry on in this tradition.

TJR did you really ride this railway? Don't think your travel insurance would have covered you!

Thanks for sharing MArcia

Babs;

We DID ride the railway all the way to the top where that octagonal building is. Got to meet Barry and shake his hand. I had been an apprentice to Michael Cardew, so we had that to talk about.

His pottery was one of the high lights of out trip. All kinds of stoneware kilns, great pots, a tea shop. He took on apprentices, but sadly I was committed to teaching a year in Australia, and we were on our way there.

There were other great potteries all along the coast, but many were closed up because of the competition with China.

TJR.

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