To celebrate its 40th year, Maitlia Potters held a Changing Face of Maitlia Mask Competition which was judged by (from left) Barb Hovard, Trevor Spohr and Gordon Burridge at the Bottlebrush Craft Centre where the masks will be exhibited until the end of August.
To celebrate its 40th year, Maitlia Potters held a Changing Face of Maitlia Mask Competition which was judged by (from left) Barb Hovard, Trevor Spohr and Gordon Burridge at the Bottlebrush Craft Centre where the masks will be exhibited until the end of August. Boni Holmes

40 years of change exhibited through August

MAITLIA Potters have changed its face many times since their inception 40 years ago.

Members have had a month-long party to celebrate the birthday with a reunion dinner, exhibitions and a competition.

Yesterday Barb Hovard, Gordon Burridge and Trevor Spoor judged the Changing Faces of Maitlia Mask Competition.

Maitlia member of 39 years Carolyn Burns said there were 65 entries.

"There was two classes in the children's category and an adults section,” she said.

"I think the judges would have a hard time with deciding.”

Former Maryborough mayor Barb Hovard said it was hard to judge knowing how much talent their was in the artistic community.

"I am struck at the nine-15 years category. It's lovely to see them use their imagination.”

Gatakers Artspace's Trevor Spohr said he was impressed by the use of recycled materials.

"Most artists have used their imagination - very impressive.

"It is especially encouraging to see a younger audience and the amount of entries - their participation is really important.”

All judges agreed it is never easy when choosing a winner.

The official opening and presentation of prizes will be held on Friday, August 19 from 6pm at Bottlebrush Craft Centre.

The entries will be exhibited at the centre until the end of the month.

Maitlia also have its Changing Faces of Maitlia exhibition at Gatakers Artspace until the end of August.

"The title of the celebrations represents the changes within the organisation,” Carolyn said.

In 1977 a group of like-minded folk got together to create exciting pottery and named themselves Maitlia Potters, Maitlia being Aboriginal meaning clay.

The members are still pottering around under the name of Bottlebrush Crafts.

The original group were students of Ted Meredith, and held their first meeting at his house in Neptune St.

They met weekly at members' homes, transporting wheels and gear in the boot of cars until late 77 they bought and moved to the corner of Albert and Fort Sts where Bottlebrush Crafts was established.

Eventually the building was opened to include retail and workshop areas and the group widened to include other crafts.

Carolyn said she joined the group as a young mum after a friend said she would love pottery.

"So I went along and I loved it and still do,” she said.

"Over the years we have opened to other people interested in all forms of art.

"We still hold the only classes in pottery including a beginners class on Mondays for $5.

"If you were interested in joining other art groups they would welcome you.”

The group have since moved to their current location on Ferry St where they will hold an open day this Saturday.

Eight groups who meet at Bottlebrush will be demonstrating their craft between 9am-3pm.

There will also be a $2 sausage sizzle, tea and coffee, and cold drinks.

For more information phone Julie Wight 4129 0154 or Carolyn Burns 4129 7322.  



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