Maitlia Potter Audrey Reece sculpts a swagman during a class at Bottlebrush Craft Centre in Maryborough.
Maitlia Potter Audrey Reece sculpts a swagman during a class at Bottlebrush Craft Centre in Maryborough.

Bottlebrush Crafts celebrate 40 years of creations

FORTY years have passed since hand made chunky crockery and pottery dinner sets where fashionable.

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 incorporated group were looking for past members to celebrate 40 years since they formed.

Celebration organiser Julie Wight said event were being planned for August this year.

"We are hoping past members will join the current members in celebrating the milestone," she said.

"Those who have responded said they were keen to have a reunion."

The celebrations include an exhibition at Gatakers and an open day at Bottlebrush Craft Centre.

"The Changing Faces of Maitlia exhibition will be held at Gatakers Artspace for the whole month of August," Julie said.

"In forty years our aims and objectives have changed a little bit and with that we thought we would have a mask exhibition.

"I think its going to be a beauty.

"We will be holding workshops to create our exhibition masks."

The original member said she had ideas for her mask.

"I am looking at recycled material - someone was repairing the basin at Bottlebrush and walked out with some pipes - I said that could make a good mask - my brain just switched to recycle.

"We have restarted pottery classes for Maitlia and bring back the old potters.

"Its not just wheel work - there is hand sculpting too."

Bottlebrush president Audrey Reece the original group were the 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," she said.

"As the demand for pottery grew, and it was very fashionable to have hand made pottery dinner sets, mugs and even wine goblets during that era, so the group grew and in 1982 a cottage on a farm at Tinana became their workshop.

"The same year the group took out a mortgage and bought the store on the corner of Albert and Fort Sts where Bottlebrush Crafts was established.

"When the mortgage was paid off, the whole building was opened to include retail and workshop areas the group widened to include other crafts."

Audrey said the centre functioned for many years successfully.

"Maitlia Potters continued to provide a venue for the potters and other craftspeople to meet, create and enjoy the camaraderie," she said.

"Fashions changed with the introduction of cheap shops with cheap imported coffee mugs and the popularity of chunky crockery faded.

"Although Maitlia has kept a low profile in recent years, they have never lost enthusiasm, working away and providing exhibitions and displays as well as large and varied selection of gifts and craft wear."

Julie said there would be many seniors in the Wide Bay who remembered Maitlia Potters.

"We will just make August busy for Maitlia."

For more information, phone Julie Wight 4129 0154 or email


The Bottlebrush Craft Centre, 30 Ferry St, Maryborough is open six days a week, from 9am to 2pm Monday to Friday and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.

There are a number of art and craft groups who meet at the centre regularly including China Painting; Social Art; Bobbin Lacemaking; Dolls with Attitude; Cardmaking; Clay Sculpting and Pottery; and Spinning, Weaving, Dyeing and Felting.

For more information phone the centre on 41222533, Audrey on 0487858831 or

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