Stonehouse was founded in 1972 by 8 like-minded potters wanting to promote ceramics
Stonehouse Through The Years
One of the longest established art & craft co-operatives in Australia, Stonehouse was founded in 1972 by 8 like-minded potters wanting to promote ceramics.
Starting out in the Warrandyte Selby Store, the name 'Stonehouse' was chosen to depict this old stone cottage and to represent the stoneware clays used by the founding potters.
Over the years, membership grew and the artist disciplines diversified.
In 2005, Stonehouse Gallery moved to the stunning Gospel Chapel, a unique heritage building in the heart of Warrandyte. Once a community church in the 1950's, the Chapel has recently been renovated, keeping many original features, such as the stunning historic stain glass windows.
Today there are 18 member artists including potters, textile artists, painters and jewellers. Visitors are able to speak to member artists every day and there are often opportunities to watch master craftspeople at work.
History of the arts in Warrandyte
Today, the Warrandyte Pottery Expo, celebrates the history of ceramics in the region and features markets, demonstrations and activities, food stalls and live music.
Members of the public are invited to take part in creating clay sculptures which are developed over the two days on the Pottery Expo riverbank site. In 2014 this sculpture project was led by well known Melbourne sculptor Silvia Maschek.
“The history of arts in Warrandyte dates back to the middle of the 20th century, when gold mining declined and many painters and potters moved to the township, inspired by its surroundings” ... “The arts community is still very much part of the town’s identity today and events like the Pottery Expo continue to be a major drawcard for visitors to the region.”
Cr Jennifer Yang, Manningham Mayor 2014
The ‘Stone House’
This simple, random rubble, sandstone shop was home to the Stonehouse artists for many years. Facing into the street with a skillion verandah, it has a hipped roof that terminates with a gable shop front. The left-hand verandah end is enclosed with lattice and the side windows are Gothic in style with dressed stone sills.
The building, was originally known as the Selby Store and it was built in 1939 for Daisy Hawkes at the entrance to what had been Captain Selby's estate. She inherited land on Tills Drive from Captain Selby, for whom she had kept house for many years.
Built by Kevin Sloan, a local stonemason who was responsible for a number of local buildings, the building was originally operated as a local general store by Daisy Hawkes who later renamed it ‘the Stonehouse’, a name that the Stonehouse potters adopted to represent the stoneware clays they used.
The building remains of local significance for its associations with Daisy Hawkes, its social value in community life and for the stone craft skills displayed.
The Gospel Chapel
The Gospel Chapel was built after the Second World War (c1945) on the site of the Presbyterian Church which was burnt in the 1939 fires.
A modest post-war church, built on an L-shaped and clad in strapped fibro-cement, it reflects in its simplicity of form and materials the building materials shortages during and after the war.
Original decorative features, that remain to this day, include the lancet-arched leadlight windows and simple iron belfry with painted signage bearing the year: '1948'.