MAK
such as the sale to curious foreigners, but as this 
market was not discerning the craftsman accordingly 
only provided a travesty of the original object, in the 
shortest possible time. 
The European colonisers arriving in overwhelming 
numbers soon established their own culture as the 
dominant force. 
The new arrivals were predominantly English who 
left their homeland with the Industrial Revolution in 
full cry. Generations of their people had grown up in 
the believe that the machine made all things better 
than man, and the memory of hand crafted objects 
was all but gone. Also, these immigrants were mainly 
from working-class families so that they would bring 
with them to this land no scholarly knowledge of their 
traditionel hand crafts, and no examples as a 
reference to the past. 
So here they were in what to them was an empty 
traditionless land, for they were unlikely to recognise 
or understand the Maori culture; children of the 
industrial revolution with the ability to survive and 
progress materially, but devoid of most of the fine 
craft skills that had developed in their homelands in 
past ages, such as pottery, glass making, basket 
work, metal work, weaving, furniture making, and 
moreover in the main, unaware that these crafts had 
any value or indeed had ever existed. 
Such an attitude continued in New Zealand until 
nearly the middle of the 20th Century. Odd craftsmen 
there were but as yet there was no public 
consciousness of the value to mankind of 
handcrafted objects. The machine was still regarded 
as the ultimate provider of all things and the 
teachings of William Morris in 1890 and Suetso 
Yanagi in 1920 had not reached their ears. 
Where then in this sterile soll could the seeds of 
craft be sown, sprout and grow. 
The conclusion of World War II saw a great influx 
of refugees from the old worid, people who had a 
background of the craft revival which had begun in 
Europe in the last Century. This coincided with the 
growing desire to possess objects and furnishings 
that would not be seen ad nauseam in every 
household and with the realisation that the forms 
produced by the machine, perfectly even, perfectly 
round or square, smooth and shiny were not 
necessarily and by right, beautiful. 
With the ending of World War II a quantity of 
Japanese Studio pottery, much of it by Shoji 
Hamada, was imported into New Zealand.This had an 
immediate impact on the small group of potters; a 
few made contact with Bernard Leach and some 
worked with him. The stage was now set for a Studio 
pottery explosion. A seif reliant and inventive people, 
used to making and repairing all things. were set 
firmly on the path of stoneware pottery with an 
adopted craft background of Japanese Mingei wares. 
Potters made their own wheels, built their kilns 
which most fired with oil, dug their own clay and 
formulated their own glazes from local materials, and 
formed themselves into small groups where they 
could exchange Information. 
In 1945 one could walk the streets of any town in 
New Zealand and find not a Studio pot for sale. In 
1977 the craft shops selling pottery are as plentifui as 
greengrocers. Potters today are numbered in 
thousands and many of them are full-time craftsmen. 
The style of pottery in New Zealand has been 
completely derivative of its first major contacts, 
Japanese folk pottery, which looks back to Sung 
stoneware for its Inspiration, and then to the 
Bernard Leach school which has elements of 
English mediaeval and slipware potting combined 
with Japanese Mingei. 
Another major craft, Studio weaving, began in 
earnest a decade or more later than Studio pottery, 
and suffered from the same lack of peasant craft 
background, New Zealand being a sheep producing 
country, it is fitting that wool weaving predominates 
and like the potters their strength is in the functional 
sphere — rugs, hangings, fabric lengths, and clothing 
of all kinds. An integral part of weaving is spinning, 
and there are many craft workers engaged in this and 
in producing natural dyes for their own material. 
There is a restricted demand for sculptural pieces or 
major tapestries: larger works are occasionally 
commissioned, however, and public buildings such 
as the new Parliamentary building, have made use of 
the New Zealand weavers' skills. 
The Studio weaver treads a difficult path; the 
design skills necessary to produce large 
three-dimensional works are not common in this
	        

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