Share a Cuppa was conceived during the Covid-19 lockdown as a means to support ceramics and creativity throughout Aotearoa. The emergency funding made available by Creative New Zealand recognises the impact that the crisis has on our creative communities and encouraged us to create an event that could work on multiple levels. This project is intended to help across many layers - from Studio Potters whose incomes are adversely affected, to providing creative support to individuals in their bubbles, and finally for the basic need for communities to stay connected.
The event is structured around the everyday ritual of sharing a cup of tea. From the creation of the tea implements such as cups, to taking time out of our day for reflection, and by doing this together.
We recognise that studio potters rely on having a collection of small retail outlets, many of which have been affected by the diminished tourism industry. So in the short term Share a Cuppa commissioned up to 50 studio potters to produce 4 cups, which goes some way to support their income stream. In addition, it is intended that the publicity we can offer during this event will help promote them in the domestic market which is now embracing locally made products.
During lockdown many clubs and community facilities were closed so we worked with Christchurch based studio potters to share their skills through the medium of video. These videos enable anyone viewing them to give cup making a go in the comfort of your own home. We are working with a local pottery supplies business, General Pottery from gpottery.felt.co.nz to provide kitsets and you can watch the Share a Cuppa demonstration videos for free on vimeo.
The studio produced cups will be gifted in the community to say thank you for all the hard work and support given during this difficult time. You will be invited to nominate your own Covid-19 hero to receive a gift set of a hand-made cup, locally blended tea by Kaputii Studio, an artisan chocolate from Karen 'Neill at Three Cups of Tea, and artist designed thank you card created by Emma Turner.
Thankfully, with the help of Creative New Zealand funding we are able to offer all this including the gift sets as a Share a Cuppa Giveaway.
The culmination of the entire event will be a community get together to Share a Cuppa on the 6th September. This can be done in our own homes, going out together, or if in Canterbury attending the high tea hosted by The George.
Sometimes the small things add up to make a difference. Share a little more, care a little more, and create space to allow creativity to support us in positive ways.