The Pottery Place, workshop, Debbie Eldemire

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The Pottery Place, Dimbulah, Debbie Eldemire

Pottery/Glass Workshop Retreats at Longwater Camp – Dimbulah

Nestled in the Hinterlands, 1½ hour drive West of Cairns lies one of the North’s best kept secrets – the lovely township of Dimbulah, situated in the ‘dry country’ on the edge of the Hodginson Goldfields. 1 hour drive ahead is Chillagoe, well worth a trip to view the incredible rock formations, limestone caves and marble mines; and only ½ hour drive in the other direction, we can experience a wealth of history travelling through the Goldfields and abandoned mine sites, especially North QLD’s famous and majestic Mt. Mulligan. Dimbulah offers the visitor a delight of options and scenic adventures, a true blue outback experience.

Growing up in North Queensland since 1969, I have forever dreamed of 100 acres on a river in some quiet little spot.  Over 20 years, I have worked towards that dream and looked far and wide for that place within a 150Km radius from Cairns, this being of top priority as my business, The Pottery Place would have to undergo a major restructuring process in order to move it from Cairns.  I had purchased the 34 year old local business, The Pottery Place in late 2001, after studying Pottery at James Cook University and TAFE Ceramics in Cairns. The Pottery Place had seen better days, as have many of the Country’s Pottery Suppliers, however I gave it my best shot.  After struggling with high rents and unfavourable demographics for the most part, it seemed the perfectly reasonable time to change my direction when my dream came true in September 2004.  Out of the blue, one lucky day, my Mother saw some pictures of the most perfect Home and Artists 4 Bay Work Studio on 100 acres on The Walsh River, for sale in Dimbulah !  Strangely enough, I had never looked in Dimbulah but it was love at first sight. In May 2006, I moved in with The Pottery Place fitting into the shed as if it were purpose built.

The Pottery Place, Dimbulah, Debbie Eldemire

Since moving here, it has been an interesting and successful restructuring process as I maintain a weekly delivery service to Cairns and have taken on teaching in Schools and Communities. Teaching in Schools is very rewarding, the students, especially in remote areas, are hungry for the art experience and I have not seen a child yet who does not love clay. I have also just hosted a fabulous weekend workshop with the wonderful Sallie Portnoy who came for three days to teach a Kiln Cast Glass Workshop. 10 Ladies from all over regional North Queensland came up to Longwater Camp for this exciting weekend. Under Sallie’s expert tutoring, we all made exquisite glass pieces in just two days.  The excitement and the freedom of being able to create pieces so instantaneously had everyone in awe, and we are thrilled to extend our pottery skills and use equipment that most of us already have in place, to venture into the world of glass.

The spacious workshop at Longwater Camp is fully equipped with wheels, kilns, supplies, tools and equipment and offers the most incredible working spaces, situated high on a hill with amazing and inspirational 360° views of the surrounding country forever.  A visit to the river for lunch offers delightful surprises with tall trees, white sand, wallabies and birdlife galore all around the mighty Walsh River, running through all year long.  The night skies are clear and bejewelled with planets and stars and the simple exercise of building a little fire to cosy up to seems to have the ability of reawakening all of your senses.  I have never experienced in my life a place that oozes such incredible ambience, peace, inspiration and the awesome feeling of spaciousness and freedom, such a rare and treasured tranquillity in today’s frantic and busy world.  I invite all to visit, create, enjoy and experience this special little treat in our magical big sky country.

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