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Byron Shire
August 14, 2022

Interview with Paul Button of Mullum Clayworkers

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Mullum Claywork

Mullum Clayworkers Gallery Opening  |  Mullum Drill Hall  |  Saturday 3–5pm

Brand New Clay

It’s time to get your hands dirty. Paul Button of Mullum Clayworkers Gallery spoke with Seven about what’s in store when the gallery reopens on Saturday with a meet and greet.

What does the new renovation mean to you and the other members of the Clayworkers Gallery?

I think that our renovated gallery will give our members new energy, new direction, and new initiatives in terms of promotion. It means a new era in Mullum Clayworkers. Our members are excited about the potential the gallery offers them to display and, they hope, sell their work.

It also means that the ‘best kept secret’ in the Northern Rivers of a pottery and ceramic studio that’s available 24/7 is no longer a secret. The gallery is our vehicle for displaying and selling the beautiful creations that emerge from the studio.

What’s the history of the Mullum Clayworkers Gallery. Has it been a part of the community for many years?

I am told that the potters group was formed back in the 70s when pottery was done in the Drill Hall, so we are over 40 years old. By the mid-90s, the potters had built a standalone studio and become incorporated as Mullumbimby Adult Learning Association (MALA). Following a longstanding history of supporting local artists, in April 2007 MALA became a not-for-profit incorporated body, open for community members to join. In 2009, members formed a partnership with providers of services for people with special needs in the community, offering weekly workshops. In Nov 2010, what was formerly the Audrey Hoving studio space was converted into a gallery with substantial refurbishment by the members. In June 2011 this became the Mullumbimby Community Art Gallery – the only gallery specialising in three-dimensional art in Byron Shire. In April 2019 the members undertook additional renovation works to refresh the gallery décor, making it an even more light, airy, and attractive display gallery. To celebrate our new, refreshed gallery we’ve decided to rename it Mullum Clayworkers Gallery.

What was the drive behind the gallery’s renovation, and where did the funding come from? Did the community chip in together to raise the funds?

We raised money by running fundraising activities like providing chai, cakes, soup etc on exhibition and market days, and during Mullum Music Festival.

Much of the renovation work was done by the members, except for resurfacing of the floor, which now looks fantastic.

Tell us some more about the event you’re holding at 3pm on 25 May. Is this something everyone is invited to? What does the event entail?

The Mullum Clayworkers Gallery Grand Relaunch will be open on Saturday from 3pm till 5pm with an exhibition of members’ latest ceramic artworks. There will be delicious homemade chai, cakes, and soft drinks provided by the members.

The gallery will also be open on a regular basis during the week and at weekends. We’ve put a roster together, and plan for it to be open on Thursday and Friday mornings (9am–1pm), and all day on Saturdays (9am–4pm).

Mullum Clayworkers Gallery Opening. Saturday 3–5pm. All Welcome


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