rainforest ceramics pottery cups bowls the hills emporium

Buy some pottery – save a rainforest

Twelve pottery & ceramic studios in the Byron Shire will be open to the public this weekend for the annual North Coast Mud Trail Open Studios.

18th & 19th AUGUST 2018

“The Northern Rivers is a vibrant creative community that is fast becoming known as a major centre for Ceramic Arts. The region is a hub for traditional and contemporary ceramic artists and potters, some long-standing locals, and a growing population of new talents. The diverse works crafted by these artisans are coveted by enthusiasts from all over the world, with pieces by many of the artists in galleries, retail outlets, restaurants, and private collections in America, Asia and Europe.” – North Coast Mud Trail

“Once a year, as part of The Australian Ceramics Association’s Open Studios, these artists open their spaces to the public for one weekend only, giving the opportunity for visitors to see demonstrations, hear artists’ talks, participate in workshops, learn about their processes, and purchase ceramics directly from the artists themselves.”


The Hills Emporium proudly showcase a variety of exquisite pieces made by our dear friend, Richard Jones, of Rainforest Ceramics. The studio is nestled in a lush forest setting surrounded by koalas and other Australian wildlife.

Richard Jones Rainforest Ceramics

“I visited the Amazon in 1985 and was told I could buy rainforest at $1 per acre. Four years later I was involved in founding the Australian Rainforest Foundation with Dr Jonathan King and Claire Leimbach, an offshoot of Sting’s global effort to create one of the world’s largest national parks in the Amazon. Today we donate 20% of all sales to US-based Rainforest Trust which is matched by anonymous donors to protect rainforest around the world. So far, Rainforest Ceramics has saved at least 10,000 acres in Peru, Congo, Nepal, Borneo, Madagascar and Australia.” – Richard Jones

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“I first had a play on the wheel in 1975 at Newport on Sydney’s Northern Beaches but became sidetracked by the need to earn an income and by environmental issues. Thirty years later Jo and I started it together with Lucy Vanstone in Brunswick Heads as a wedding anniversary activity! I’m still potting and we’re still married. ” – Richard Jones

Specialising in functional stoneware, the studio produces bowls, plates, cups, animals, platters and planters, using a variety of glazes including chun, copper red, shino, tenmoku, kaki, celadon and others.


“From the beginning I started carving trees and birds on my cups and bowls which reflected my long time involvement in trying to conserve forests. I’m a passionate nature lover and live in a recovering rainforest at Possum Creek surrounded by birds, koalas and other creatures, not to mention five raucous roosters! The way I fire enables me to use beautiful Japanese and Chinese glazes with stunning blues and radiant reds. Despite the unpredictability of the volcanic heat the alchemy of the kiln weaves its magic and surprises me every kiln opening.” – Richard Jones


Even more impressive than the magnificent works created, is the fact that Rainforest Ceramics donate twenty percent of their takings to the Rainforest Trust who strive to conserve rainforests across the globe. Richard hopes that the Mud Trail open studio weekend will attract visitors to his wonderful studio and in doing so, help save 1000 acres of rainforest in the process.

Visit Rainforest Ceramics this Sunday at 1pm for free herbal tea and a ”throwing off the hump” demonstration. You’ll be glad you did!

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A few words from Kaidee…

“The other week we set off on a field trip day with the children to visit our new dear friends, Richard & Jo. Not only do Richard & Jo have fun loving infectious personalities, they are dedicated fund raisers for various rainforest charities, and their wares remain to be The Hills best selling pottery creations in our store since its commencement.

As we arrived at Richard and Jo’s beautiful home studio nestled amidst the gorgeous forest of Possum Creek, in the Byron Bay hinterland, about 20 mins drive from The Hills Emporium, Federal. We saw Richard quickly scurrying his way out to the car with a giant stick. At first I wondered if we had arrived in the right place! As he opened the door with a big smile, he warned of the roosters that had taken patrol of their property since they were dumped there as young chickens. I’m talking… five roosters and one that thinks he is the Ganga’s khan of the chicken world! We slowly hopped out of the car, large sticks in hand, just in case. We made our way safely across to the studio, feeling like we were on an adventure.


Jo told me that she had set up a lovely sanctuary at the back of the property. The roosters are able to happily live out the rest of their days without harm nor fear and without harm to others.  An example of the kindness that these two have: someone careless decides to dump a creature because of its sex, the lovely Richard and Jo take them in. It is just like the amazing things they are doing with saving the rainforests, orangutan, native trees and more.

As we approached the brand new studio, under the native trees in the garden, I saw an amazing site – shelves filled with handcrafted mugs, bowls and platters. Some still in natural clay form, some already fired in shades of pastel blues and burgundy. Each piece in a natural hand-shaped form, no two the same. My life was complete! I knew I would be able to deliver the goods to our customers and be able to convey the story behind each piece, proudly representing the amazing works of these two artists.

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Richard quickly had our children involved and on the pottery wheel, he showed them how he creates a bowl and the process of how it all begins from a small lump of clay. Whilst I chatted to Jo, we heard the children and Richard fill the room with laughter and clay. Inca (6) and Ari (4) were both in awe of the experience and have been asking Mum “when are we going back to visit again?”.

This weekends Mud Trail is a must! August 18 – 19th, an annual event that represents our local pottery artists of the Northern Rivers. An open studio visit to Richard & Jo’s lovely property in Possum Creek along with lunch at the Doma Cafe is definitely on the weekends itinerary for us. They tell me they have been busy firing a whole new batch of pottery that you can buy directly from Richard and Jo.” -Kaidee Peel

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Find Rainforest Ceramics at: 56 Gittoes Lane, Possum Creek, NSW.

Contact: (02) 6687 1900
Visit: rainforestceramics.com

Follow: download @rainforestceramics

Download the North Coast Mud Trail Brochure > HERE 

For more information about The North Coast Mud Trail Visit: www.northcoastmudtrail.com.au/about-north-coast-mud-trail-2018/

Join the Mud Trail and discover thousands of beautiful pieces made via multiple methods with diverse finishes, as varied as the potters themselves.


rainforest ceramics pottery cups bowls the hills emporium

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