Te Toi Uku Crown Lynn & Clayworks Museum has been around since 2015 but it has recently undergone a renovation and refresh. It now includes a permanent exhibition about the clay industries that operated in New Lynn throughout the 20th century, until Monier closed in 2015. It also has an exhibition about Crown Lynn which operated nearby from 1948 until 1989.
“There is a lot more for people to see here now, and to learn about what New Lynn was like even 50 years ago”, says museum curator Rosemary Deane. “Since the renovation, visitors stay for much longer; there are new displays, plenty of objects to spark delight for the Crown Lynn collectors, and much more information.”
The museum is situated on the original site of an early 20th century brickworks and sits next to the old kiln. Up until the 1980s New Lynn was covered in brick and clay factories and the museum aims to engage the local community with the brick and pipe stories. The museum is focussed on the people and the processes that made the ceramics, from bricks and pipes through to the finest dinnerware produced by Crown Lynn.
“We are different from other museums that have Crown Lynn collections in that we also have the tools and equipment that used to make the products. A lot of Crown Lynn production was by hand, including attaching handles and hand decorating. We aim to tell those stories”.
Te Toi Uku is administered by the Portage Ceramics Trust which was formed in 2005 to purchase a large private collection of ceramics and pottery-making equipment relating to Crown Lynn Potteries Ltd. This was the collection of Richard Quinn, who not only collected from op shops, but also dug in the ground behind the Crown Lynn factory to find shards and complete pieces which help to tell the Crown Lynn story. Later objects were added to the collection including some heavy clay equipment and tools relating to the early West Auckland companies.
The Museum is thankful to the Whau Local Board for operating funding and also Foundation North and the Portage Licensing Trust who have made these new exhibitions possible.
Visit us at 8 Ambrico Place, New Lynn (off Rankin Ave). Open Tuesday to Friday 10-4 and Saturday 10-3.