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Passionate artist Terry Bouton is keen to see pottery classes and ceramic workshops become available to the local community. Image: Emma Pritchard

Firing up an artistic venture

Emma Pritchard

She has lived, worked, and taught all over the world, but when renowned artist Terry Bouton returned to Australia and her Clarence Valley property, she became aware of a gap in the local market which she is determined to fill.

While residents, in particular those living in Grafton and the surrounding areas, have access to art classes encompassing painting and drawing lessons, Ms Bouton concedes there is nothing available locally which caters for people who would love to work with clay and learn how to do ceramic art. While a vacant shed in Hoof St has been cited as a suitable location, pending minor upgrades and the acquisition of a community grant or two, Ms. Bouton knows of several people who are interested in ceramics, and she would love to help provide them with open learning space to allow their artistic creativity to grow.

After meeting with the grants officer from Clarence Valley Council last week to discuss her ambitions, Ms. Bouton is inviting the community to share theirs with her. “I want the opportunity for the environment, the whole of Grafton and the surrounding areas to have and to initiate this idea, and I’m sure there are a lot of people out there that would be really keen to be involved in ceramic art and have an opportunity to work with clay,” she said. “Art can connect people as well, and I’m sure people are keen to utilize this concept.

“I think the desire is there, and we need to encourage people to start talking about it and see what we can develop together. “I think it could be a wonderful artistic addition to the community which could benefit a lot of people, not just artists.” Robert Montgomery, Secretary of the Grafton Community Shed, is supportive of Ms Bouton’s creative vision and eager to see it become available to the public. “She’s keen to make this happen, and now we need to find out who else is keen to become involved,” he said.   

“Everything is still in the process of being set up and she is also busy organizing equipment as well. “I think ceramic classes would be very beneficial for the community because it would offer another outlet to join, and a lot of people love working with clay.” While she is happily occupied with her own artistic ventures and business, Ms Bouton is seeking expressions of interest from community members who would love to participate in pottery classes and ceramic workshops. “I am very interested in engaging with people, hearing their thoughts and seeing when we can bring this whole concept together,” she said.

Anyone interested is invited to contact her at [email protected]

  • Community donations including any materials which could be utilized in pottery classes and ceramic workshops would also be greatly appreciated. Anyone who has an available kiln they would like to donate is also encouraged to contact Ms Bouton.