In the mid-1960s China Painting was very popular as a hobby with many home makers - stay at home mums with kids at school - which was the norm back then.

The Lower Hutt/Wellington China Painters Group had over 300 members which became too large to manage and in 1967 decided to split into two groups - Wellington and Lower Hutt. The first AGM was held on 23 March 1968 with 21 founding members of the Hutt Valley China Painters Association in attendance. Joan Dellow who was one of these ladies and travelled to the USA and acquired the 'China Painters Charter' which enabled associations to be set up and become affiliated throughout New Zealand, hence the Hutt Valley group was the first to hold the 'Charter' and to become established.

Two of the Hutt Valley Porcelain Art Association (name change in the late 1980's) founding members are still with us albeit not paining - they are Doreen Croft and Ngaire Leahy who have many beautiful pieces of art work to their credit. In fact Heirlooms as the art form has changed so much over the years with differing and modern trains of thought introduced as new folk joined the groups.

Following on from the Charter being brought to New Zealand the ladies painted the most wonderful pieces and there were visits by tutors from USA, Australia and of course those New Zealand ladies who specialised in a particular technique and were able to teach it to those who wished to learn.

Today Lower Hutt has a very small core group of dedicated painters. We encourage folk to take up this wonderful and one of the oldest art forms in world since cave drawings. Our members are committed to ensure the continuation of this art form.

Porcelain art can range from the simplistic to one of the most complex and demanding art forms. Any one piece can take up to 15 firings - which is just layer upon layer of paint to enable the artist to get the depth required to give a 3D effect on a flat porcelain surface. Pieces are fired in kilns with various temperatures ranges - the heat fired depends on the technique and the product.

The Chinese were experts in porcelain and porcelain decorating 2000 years ago so our teachers are determined to ensure the techniques associated with this art form not only flourish, but will never be lost here in New Zealand.

If you would like to join this dedicated group of artists please contact:

Monica Martin
04 9040167
021 0733531

Sandra Austin
04 589 7874
021 429592

Contact us here or email

Porcelain art appeals to people who enjoy detailed and often intricate work (depending of course on the piece and the art you've chosen to paint). At times, the complexity of the artwork can take time to build up a piece to a result. Like life - satisfaction lies in seeing something beautiful at the end!

Founding Members of HVPAA who attended the first AGM on 23 March 1968:

Messrs: M Beswick, A Green, M Hartley, E Campbell, J Dellow, I Chalk, A Gardiner, D Croft, R Courtenay, M Croft, D Spence, N Leahy, J Barlow, E McLennan, J Blackwood, L McIntyre, M Money, B Neilsen, Z MacLachlan, J Seddon, J Hutchison

Art Credit: ©Sandra Austin "Cranes Jewel Box"