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Pottery Collection

Pottery in Gunnedah has been well represented for many years. Long-time identities and drivers of pottery in Gunnedah are Frances Thomas, Pat Tobin and Pam Thomas whose combined working experience in 2014 amounts to 137 years.

Pam Thomas started creating pottery artworks in 1963 in Wollongong. Ivan Englund was the lecturer in the then Technical College. After leaving Wollongong, Pam carried on developing her skills as she worked the clay in her studios over the past 50 years. In 1984 Pam received the Harold Hughan prestigious award for Domestic Pottery. Harold Hughan himself chose Pam as the Prize winner. Mr Hughan was one of the first craft potters in Australia after WWII. "Once you start potting it takes hold of you like an addiction, never lets you go. It can take your interests into other fields such as Geology or Chemistry."

Pat Tobin started working the clay at St Yves Leisure Centre in Sydney in 1970 before attending Hornsby Tech. Her lecturer was Suzanne Forsyth who had just graduated from East Sydney Tech and now lives in Armidale, still potting. Pat has taught pottery at TAFE Gunnedah for 14 years and when TAFE classes were discontinued, Pat taught -and still teaches- at the Community College Northern inland.

Frances Thomas attended Gunnedah Tech in 72. Jim Simpson, an outstanding salt glaze potter was the teacher. From this beginning, the Pottery Club, which operates from the Showground, was established in 1975. Fran has taught alongside Pat at TAFE Gunnedah and ran classes at the Adult Education in Gunnedah. As a child Fran sat watching her potter-aunt Francis, in Queensland; her passion born early in life. Gunnedah Shire Council has acquired in the past some of Fran's and Pat's pottery to add to its Town Collection.

Together with the Pottery Club, Pat Tobin and Fran Thomas were instrumental in the creation and production of both murals which are proudly in exhibition in the gallery and the Mooki Rooms in the Civic Centre.