The ASP is managed by our committee who oversee the ASP centre staff who, in turn, employ and organise the teaching staff.

Elena Renker President   "I became a member at ASP in 1998 reconnecting with clay after a long break. I love the friendly atmosphere at the centre, the clay community, the exchange of knowledge. It is a unique and wonderful place. The focus of my work has been on wood fired shino glazed domestic ware and Japanese style tea ware. A few years ago I build a wood fired kiln at my place north of Auckland where I fire most of my pots."   Elena's website

Elena Renker
President

"I became a member at ASP in 1998 reconnecting with clay after a long break. I love the friendly atmosphere at the centre, the clay community, the exchange of knowledge. It is a unique and wonderful place. The focus of my work has been on wood fired shino glazed domestic ware and Japanese style tea ware. A few years ago I build a wood fired kiln at my place north of Auckland where I fire most of my pots."

Elena's website

Nadine Spalter Co-director and committee member   Nadine has been working with clay for more than 12 years and involved with the ASP for most of that time. She works as a ceramic artist, making thrown and altered porcelain pieces.   Nadine's Website  +  Instagram

Nadine Spalter
Co-director and committee member

Nadine has been working with clay for more than 12 years and involved with the ASP for most of that time. She works as a ceramic artist, making thrown and altered porcelain pieces.

Nadine's Website + Instagram

Toby Twiss Diploma coordinator   "It's great to be part of a Centre that is so vibrant and keen, with all the classes full. I am mostly a sculptor, sometimes a teacher and hopeful potter, and have been hanging around the place for a few years now."  Toby has been with ASP since 2016 as Director of the Centre. Now he is in charge of the  Diploma  programme, which is becoming more and more important to the life of the Centre, and is growing each year.

Toby Twiss
Diploma coordinator

"It's great to be part of a Centre that is so vibrant and keen, with all the classes full. I am mostly a sculptor, sometimes a teacher and hopeful potter, and have been hanging around the place for a few years now."

Toby has been with ASP since 2016 as Director of the Centre. Now he is in charge of the Diploma programme, which is becoming more and more important to the life of the Centre, and is growing each year.

Peter Lange Monday Morning tutor   "I have been involved with ASP since 1975 as a member, since early '80s on the Committee (except for 5 years early 2000s when I was Centre Director) and later President for about 5 years. At the moment I use clay that is being thrown away so I take anything that is free and dry. Then I dry it or biscuit it and hit it with a hammer, firing the broken pieces (rocks) in a variety of kilns and then reassembling them into interesting combinations … teapots, platters, sculptural works."   Peter's Website

Peter Lange
Monday Morning tutor

"I have been involved with ASP since 1975 as a member, since early '80s on the Committee (except for 5 years early 2000s when I was Centre Director) and later President for about 5 years. At the moment I use clay that is being thrown away so I take anything that is free and dry. Then I dry it or biscuit it and hit it with a hammer, firing the broken pieces (rocks) in a variety of kilns and then reassembling them into interesting combinations … teapots, platters, sculptural works."

Peter's Website

 
Renton Murray Thursday Morning tutor   Renton has taught at many night classes and pottery schools and has been a tutor at the ASP for 10 years. He is a lover of pots; simple direct pots that are useable and that hopefully will enrich the lives of both the maker and the user. He is strongly drawn to wheel-thrown, salt-glazed pottery and fires in wood and oil kilns.

Renton Murray
Thursday Morning tutor

Renton has taught at many night classes and pottery schools and has been a tutor at the ASP for 10 years. He is a lover of pots; simple direct pots that are useable and that hopefully will enrich the lives of both the maker and the user. He is strongly drawn to wheel-thrown, salt-glazed pottery and fires in wood and oil kilns.

Chris Southern Monday Evening tutor   Chris's approach is relaxed and he tries to facilitate an open creative atmosphere. His interest is in domestic ware, especially teapots and the humble mug. Chris did his first class way back in 1994 at Auckland Studio Potters and he hasn't left.

Chris Southern
Monday Evening tutor

Chris's approach is relaxed and he tries to facilitate an open creative atmosphere. His interest is in domestic ware, especially teapots and the humble mug. Chris did his first class way back in 1994 at Auckland Studio Potters and he hasn't left.

Jo Raill Wednesday Evening tutor   "I did my first pottery class at ASP in 1993. I was training to be a teacher at the time and even though I really enjoyed making pots I had no idea that this would lead me into a career in the arts. I have enjoyed many roles at ASP from student to teacher and centre manager. At times I have ventured away from the centre but my love of working with clay and being in this wonderful supportive community always draws me back."   Jo’s Website

Jo Raill
Wednesday Evening tutor

"I did my first pottery class at ASP in 1993. I was training to be a teacher at the time and even though I really enjoyed making pots I had no idea that this would lead me into a career in the arts. I have enjoyed many roles at ASP from student to teacher and centre manager. At times I have ventured away from the centre but my love of working with clay and being in this wonderful supportive community always draws me back."

Jo’s Website

Graham Ambrose Tuesday Morning tutor   Strongly influenced by the modernist movement, Graham’s primary interest is in the creation of minimalist forms. Whether in the shape of small pots or large sculptural pieces, his style can be easily identified by their simplicity of structure and striking glazes.  Graham supplies only a handful of high quality galleries locally and abroad. His works are in increasing demand by both public and private collectors, nationally and internationally.   Graham's Website

Graham Ambrose
Tuesday Morning tutor

Strongly influenced by the modernist movement, Graham’s primary interest is in the creation of minimalist forms. Whether in the shape of small pots or large sculptural pieces, his style can be easily identified by their simplicity of structure and striking glazes.

Graham supplies only a handful of high quality galleries locally and abroad. His works are in increasing demand by both public and private collectors, nationally and internationally.

Graham's Website

 
Suzy Dunser Committee secretary and Tuesday Evening tutor   "I joined the ASP in 1995 when I moved to New Zealand, and after many years of casual potting completed the Diploma in Ceramic Arts here in 2011. I’m grateful to be able to contribute to the continued success of this special place, and to help build connections between the ASP and the wider arts community.  As a tutor, my goal is to help students attain the skills they need to achieve whatever it is they are aiming for with clay. Classes are semi-structured, having a focus each term but with the option for students to pursue individual interests.”   Suzy's Website  +  Instagram  +  Facebook

Suzy Dunser
Committee secretary and Tuesday Evening tutor

"I joined the ASP in 1995 when I moved to New Zealand, and after many years of casual potting completed the Diploma in Ceramic Arts here in 2011. I’m grateful to be able to contribute to the continued success of this special place, and to help build connections between the ASP and the wider arts community.

As a tutor, my goal is to help students attain the skills they need to achieve whatever it is they are aiming for with clay. Classes are semi-structured, having a focus each term but with the option for students to pursue individual interests.”

Suzy's Website + Instagram + Facebook

Eloise Worrall-Bader Thursday Evening tutor   "I found clay while in art school after many years thinking I was destined to be a painter, what happened next was a full fledged obsession which resulted in earning my Masters of Art and design. My Thesis's focused on learning, teaching and ultimately the Practise of Practice. My goal as a tutor is to ensure that my students leave my classes with good habits and understanding of clay and wheel throwing, but more importantly, I hope my enthusiasm and love of clay rubs off on them. I currently make under the moniker Good Girl Ceramics."   Eloise's Website

Eloise Worrall-Bader
Thursday Evening tutor

"I found clay while in art school after many years thinking I was destined to be a painter, what happened next was a full fledged obsession which resulted in earning my Masters of Art and design. My Thesis's focused on learning, teaching and ultimately the Practise of Practice. My goal as a tutor is to ensure that my students leave my classes with good habits and understanding of clay and wheel throwing, but more importantly, I hope my enthusiasm and love of clay rubs off on them. I currently make under the moniker Good Girl Ceramics."

Eloise's Website

Helen Perrett Committee member   "I took my first pottery class at ASP 10 years ago, and never left! I completed the Otago Polytechnic Diploma of Ceramic Arts in 2009. I was for many years a member of the ASP Committee. I have always been drawn to figurative sculpture; as a child I haunted the White Elephant stalls at school fairs and always found useless treasures. I struggle to make practical, useful objects, but I do enjoy knowing that I can. What I want to make are objects that have some sort of resonance with the viewer. My latest work is a series of animal boxes that began as both a play on words like horsebox, dogbox etc, and as a flippant attempt to make containers with ornamental knobs".

Helen Perrett
Committee member

"I took my first pottery class at ASP 10 years ago, and never left! I completed the Otago Polytechnic Diploma of Ceramic Arts in 2009. I was for many years a member of the ASP Committee. I have always been drawn to figurative sculpture; as a child I haunted the White Elephant stalls at school fairs and always found useless treasures. I struggle to make practical, useful objects, but I do enjoy knowing that I can. What I want to make are objects that have some sort of resonance with the viewer. My latest work is a series of animal boxes that began as both a play on words like horsebox, dogbox etc, and as a flippant attempt to make containers with ornamental knobs".

John Dawson Specialist tutor   “While at Trinity College I was drawn to the music of the Baroque period. With baroque music, the form is usually very simple: a theme, containing just a few notes, is embellished or decorated to enhance the simplicity or to sustain the melodic line. Often the composer determined the structure in terms of chords, and it was up to the performer to extemporise his ideas, emotions and feelings with embellishments.  I have used porcelain clay to express these musical feelings. A simple bowl form is made and is then altered to create an impression of movement.”   John’s Website

John Dawson
Specialist tutor

“While at Trinity College I was drawn to the music of the Baroque period. With baroque music, the form is usually very simple: a theme, containing just a few notes, is embellished or decorated to enhance the simplicity or to sustain the melodic line. Often the composer determined the structure in terms of chords, and it was up to the performer to extemporise his ideas, emotions and feelings with embellishments.

I have used porcelain clay to express these musical feelings. A simple bowl form is made and is then altered to create an impression of movement.”

John’s Website

 
Frank Checketts Committee member and specialist tutor   Frank Checketts studied ceramics in the Art Department at Otago Polytechnic 1975 - 1976.  "I have been involved with ASP for about 8 years and my role on the committee as of this year is now Vice President. I like to work with white raku or recycled clay and my best tool is a wire cutter to make slabs of clay. I specialise in using cut and textured slabs of clay and fire in an electric kiln at 1200 deg Celsius. I am also a theatre stage and set builder and I work for NZ Opera. For relaxation I blat all over the country on my motor bike".

Frank Checketts
Committee member and specialist tutor

Frank Checketts studied ceramics in the Art Department at Otago Polytechnic 1975 - 1976.

"I have been involved with ASP for about 8 years and my role on the committee as of this year is now Vice President. I like to work with white raku or recycled clay and my best tool is a wire cutter to make slabs of clay. I specialise in using cut and textured slabs of clay and fire in an electric kiln at 1200 deg Celsius. I am also a theatre stage and set builder and I work for NZ Opera. For relaxation I blat all over the country on my motor bike".

David Sullivan Treasurer and Vice President   "I discovered clay later in life and have been attending classes on and off since 2010. I love the ASP environment and gain inspiration from the many talented potters and tutors who so generously provide encouragement and share their knowledge. Having recently built a studio and accumulating a few kick wheels my primary interest is in domestic ware. As Treasurer and new committee member I am pleased to contribute back to an organisation that gives so much."

David Sullivan
Treasurer and Vice President

"I discovered clay later in life and have been attending classes on and off since 2010. I love the ASP environment and gain inspiration from the many talented potters and tutors who so generously provide encouragement and share their knowledge. Having recently built a studio and accumulating a few kick wheels my primary interest is in domestic ware. As Treasurer and new committee member I am pleased to contribute back to an organisation that gives so much."

Margaret Bray Committee member   "Clay is a natural and earthy element – one I can readily relate to and work with in many ways; by hand, by wheel, by mold. I make functional and sculptural work in both my studio, south of Auckland, in rural Ramarama and in residence at artHAUS Orakei. Wood firing is my passion. Nature inspires me – the unique beauty of the plants and animals around me form the basis of the rich tapestry that is the circle of life. I love the relief, texture and colour that can be found in nature."  Margaret graduated from the Diploma of Ceramic Arts in 2013.   Margaret's Website  +  Instagram    +  Facebook

Margaret Bray
Committee member

"Clay is a natural and earthy element – one I can readily relate to and work with in many ways; by hand, by wheel, by mold. I make functional and sculptural work in both my studio, south of Auckland, in rural Ramarama and in residence at artHAUS Orakei. Wood firing is my passion. Nature inspires me – the unique beauty of the plants and animals around me form the basis of the rich tapestry that is the circle of life. I love the relief, texture and colour that can be found in nature."

Margaret graduated from the Diploma of Ceramic Arts in 2013.

Margaret's Website + Instagram + Facebook

Jill Duncalfe Committee member   "I loved pottery on first sight in the 1960s but was far too sensible to become a potter back then. I’m less sensible now, and specially like working with earthenware and slips to create useful and useless things. I’ve been a class member of both Peter Stitchbury and Peter Lange for many years, and also found inspiration in Wednesday morning specialty classes. This is my first year on the ASP committee."

Jill Duncalfe
Committee member

"I loved pottery on first sight in the 1960s but was far too sensible to become a potter back then. I’m less sensible now, and specially like working with earthenware and slips to create useful and useless things. I’ve been a class member of both Peter Stitchbury and Peter Lange for many years, and also found inspiration in Wednesday morning specialty classes. This is my first year on the ASP committee."

 
Catherine Spence Committee member and Wednesday Evening assistant tutor   Catherine has been a member of ASP for the last 18 years or so. She has been dabbling with clay as one of her creative outlets over that time. ASP has provided the space, place and opportunities for the development of that creativity and that is the principle that Catherine wants to support within the ASP identity and philosophy - that ASP is an inclusive, collective community - a group of people, passionate about the place of ceramics, pottery and art fostering that for anyone at any skill or competency level.

Catherine Spence
Committee member and Wednesday Evening assistant tutor

Catherine has been a member of ASP for the last 18 years or so. She has been dabbling with clay as one of her creative outlets over that time. ASP has provided the space, place and opportunities for the development of that creativity and that is the principle that Catherine wants to support within the ASP identity and philosophy - that ASP is an inclusive, collective community - a group of people, passionate about the place of ceramics, pottery and art fostering that for anyone at any skill or competency level.

Siriporn Falcon-Grey Committee member and social media manager   “I started dabbling in ceramics around 1999 when I lived in Las Vegas, I later moved to NZ in 2007 and took a break from my art to focus on raising my family. I later met Shane Gallagher and was re-introduced to clay and the ASP community, where I have taken classes and continually enjoy learning new approaches to manipulating clay. I am currently enrolled in the Art and Design Ceramics Diploma programme and have recently joined the Committee. I look forward to meeting all the new faces and getting to know the more experienced potters at the centre.”   Facebook  +  Instagram

Siriporn Falcon-Grey
Committee member and social media manager

“I started dabbling in ceramics around 1999 when I lived in Las Vegas, I later moved to NZ in 2007 and took a break from my art to focus on raising my family. I later met Shane Gallagher and was re-introduced to clay and the ASP community, where I have taken classes and continually enjoy learning new approaches to manipulating clay. I am currently enrolled in the Art and Design Ceramics Diploma programme and have recently joined the Committee. I look forward to meeting all the new faces and getting to know the more experienced potters at the centre.”

Facebook + Instagram

Nina Chechelashvili Accounts and admin   Nina first came to the ASP in 2015, when she enrolled in the beginner’s handbuilding class with Jo and Helen. Since then she has moved into the office to work alongside Nadine and Toby.  Having studied Textile Design at AUT, much of her work with clay focuses on playing with colour and texture.

Nina Chechelashvili
Accounts and admin

Nina first came to the ASP in 2015, when she enrolled in the beginner’s handbuilding class with Jo and Helen. Since then she has moved into the office to work alongside Nadine and Toby.

Having studied Textile Design at AUT, much of her work with clay focuses on playing with colour and texture.

Melissa Mead Committee member   “I have always sought out creative outlets from craft to fine art. Over 10 years ago I found pottery and fell head over heels in love With so many aspects and areas of challenge it’s an adventure every time one sets out to make a piece. After grasping the basics of making I began researching and experimenting with different clays, glazes and learning about glaze materials. While I have preferred wheel-work, hand-building is beginning to find its way into my making plans as I’ve come full circle understanding the importance and freedom it can offer.  I joined ASP in 2018 hoping to expand my understanding, fill-in gaps from all my solitary studies and experiments but mostly to be part of the vibrant ASP community.”

Melissa Mead
Committee member

“I have always sought out creative outlets from craft to fine art. Over 10 years ago I found pottery and fell head over heels in love With so many aspects and areas of challenge it’s an adventure every time one sets out to make a piece. After grasping the basics of making I began researching and experimenting with different clays, glazes and learning about glaze materials. While I have preferred wheel-work, hand-building is beginning to find its way into my making plans as I’ve come full circle understanding the importance and freedom it can offer.

I joined ASP in 2018 hoping to expand my understanding, fill-in gaps from all my solitary studies and experiments but mostly to be part of the vibrant ASP community.”

Mike Cribbens Committee member   “I was gifted a Jo Raill beginners course 4 years ago and now can't get enough time to pursue my love of playing with clay. Unfortunately a fulltime job and an expanding brood of grandkids somewhat limits my time spent working with clay. My ideal relaxation is spending the evening in my garage, sitting at my wheel and seeing what eventuates.  ASP has been a large part of my re-introduction to pottery and the wonderful world of clay. Everyone has been very friendly and supportive and I want to ensure that future beginners and other new members continue to experience this family-like environment.”

Mike Cribbens
Committee member

“I was gifted a Jo Raill beginners course 4 years ago and now can't get enough time to pursue my love of playing with clay. Unfortunately a fulltime job and an expanding brood of grandkids somewhat limits my time spent working with clay. My ideal relaxation is spending the evening in my garage, sitting at my wheel and seeing what eventuates.

ASP has been a large part of my re-introduction to pottery and the wonderful world of clay. Everyone has been very friendly and supportive and I want to ensure that future beginners and other new members continue to experience this family-like environment.”