Te Toi Uku Crown Lynn & Clayworks Museum has had a makeover. The little museum is New Lynn’s best-kept secret and tells the story of the clay industry in the area. Over 200 objects are on display. It’s well worth a visit.
“We are different from other museums that have Crown Lynn collections. We also have the tools and equipment that was used to make the products. A lot of Crown Lynn production was by hand, including attaching handles and hand decorating. We aim to tell the stories behind their creation,” says museum curator Rosemary Deane. The museum wants to engage with the local community. The focus is on the people and the processes that made the ceramics, from bricks and pipes through to the finest dinnerware produced by Crown Lynn.
Te Toi Uku Crown Lynn & Clayworks Museum has a permanent exhibition about the clay industries that operated in the area throughout the 20th century, and about Crown Lynn which operated nearby from 1948 until 1989.
Crown Lynn Collector’s Market 1 November,10am-2pm. Around the kiln next to the museum.
Up until the 1980s, New Lynn was covered in brick and clay factories. The museum is located in the original site of an early 20th century brickworks next to the old kiln and is administered by the Portage Ceramics Trust. Formed in 2005, the Trust purchased a large private collection of ceramics and pottery-making equipment from Richard Quinn. The latter was collecting from op shops and found shards, as well as complete pieces by digging into the ground behind the factory. Objects were added to the collection including some heavy clay equipment and tools from early west Auckland companies.
“There is a lot more for people to see here now, and to learn about what New Lynn was like 50 years ago,” says Rosemary. “Since the renovation visitors stay for much longer, we might be small but there is plenty of information to share and objects to spark delight for the Crown Lynn collectors. There is something for everyone in our new displays.”
The exhibitions were made by possible by Foundation North and the Portage Licensing Trust, and the museum’s operational funding comes from the Whau Board of the Auckland Council.