alternative clay learning space(s) (ACLS)

ACLS is the free spaces for learning about clay and pottery, together or by your self, in Tamaki Makaurau (Aotearoa)

ACLS emerged from a two-year collaboration (funded, in part, by Creative Communities and Hibiscus and Bays Local Board) between Jack Tilson, Chris Berthelsen and Mairangi Arts Centre (MAC) to explore questions (originally crafted by Xin Cheng) central to the future of MAC and its wider communities: How can we augment our existing facilities by using and reimagining the "stuff" around us?; How can we increase interfaces with communities, as part of everyday life?; How can we work together to transform everyday materials (where materials also includes places/infrastructure, skills, stories, and people)?

ACLS runs along the pottery process. It is a gift and open to anyone/thing and uses "stuff we found". You are always welcome.

clay is found in "waste" (construction dumps, roadsides, landslides) across Tamaki Makaurau.

Foraging is a technology for Making Friends and sharing knowledge and experiences about our local areas, making our neighbourhoods safer and more convivial.

A pottery workspace made of found and donated materials in a neighbourhood home in Waipapa (formerly known as "mairangi" bay) hosts regular happenings and drop-ins where people do stuff, together, on a basis of friendship and honesty.

Activities include manual clay processing, creation, firing, glazing, talks, breast feeding, display, feasting, napping, at least.

A pottery cart made of junk

roams the "Super City", offering clay balls and teas made of "weeds". Working in public makes personal, non-commercial, activity visible. It slows down the rush of the street and cracks open opportunities for casual meetings and making friends.

"Participation" is not just "making and showing". It includes finding and offering materials/advice, responding to/playing with unexpected encounters, considering how others may value common resources, as well as failing, and laughing - together.

Contact chris@a-small-lab.com if you want to play

Jack Tilson's Experiences of Clay resource - an editable map for sharing information about clay, potteries and community spaces: https://www.experiencesofclay.com/