Infodats New Zealand

Morris & James Matakana, Limited
Cafe in Rodney
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48 Tongue Farm Road. Matakana.. 948, Rodney, Auckland.
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What you should know about Morris & James Matakana, Limited

Design in Rodney, Wine in Rodney, Art Gallery in Rodney, Art in Rodney

One such small brickworks was located on a site very close to where Morris James now stands, revealed by the presence of broken bricks and pieces of coal embedded in the riverbank. Descendants of the Manners family discovered that George’s father John, who had a brick works in nearby Brick Bay, used a beehive shaped kiln of Cornish design, and it is likely that the kiln at Matakana would have been similar. The Cornish connection is understandable, since the copper mines on Kawau Island employed a large number of Cornishmen. The founder of Morris James Pottery has a story as layered and rich as the many tonnes of Matakana clay he has thrown over the past thirty five years.
After leaving school, he worked on stations around the South Island, before going on to study agriculture at Lincoln. He took a job driving bulldozers for five months saving every penny for his journey. In 1961 after a while teaching in Saigon Ho Chi Minh City, he hitch hiked from Bangkok to London. His CV makes interesting reading Farm Labourer and Manager in England, General handy man in a centuries old resort in Norway, Circus hand in Texas, Dish washer in Pasadena, Unionised Factory worker in Canada and Carpenter on the Vervoot Dam in South Africa.
He served as a veterinarian on a voyage to Hong Kong and was fourth officer on a Pakistani rice trip travelling Rangoon to Chittagong. He was restless, and after much anguish, decided to head back to South Africa to Study. In 1968 Ant was working as a scaffolder’s labourer when a friend told him he should try potting and introduced him to Robyn Welch. He found himself drawn into a dance of people working together’ and importantly, one of traditional potting throwing robust and simple domestic ware for the local community.
Welch ran a small but thriving ceramics business from the rural idyll of Stradbroke in Suffolk, East Anglia, where he maintained his own workshop and designed for industry leaders such as Wedgewood. These principles were to become an ongoing and central focus for Ant, and continue as strategic objectives in the coming years. In many ways his experience with Robyn set the course for his subsequent business and creative life. Within months of returning to New Zealand in 1977 Ant and his wife Sue James acquired the Tongue Farm Road property, which Ant described as a bit of a shocker gorse ridden, strewn with rubbish and home to an alarming population of rats’.
Tongue Farm Rd Matakana Phone Free phone Cafe Fax Email

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* Showroom and cafe
* Hand-crafted pots and vessels
* Pottery Tour
* Sculptural pieces including bird baths
* Homeware
* Tiles
* Gifts
* Watch artists at work
* Gift vouchers
* Classic, contemporary and Kiwiana art
*The Morris & James Experience

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