I recently visited the newly opened Te Toi Uku Clayworks (a Crown Lynn Collection run by Portage Ceramics Trust) which is aptly located in Ambrico Place, near where the Crown Lynn industry thrived for many years. In 1929 the Amalgamated Brick and Pipe Company (hence the name for AMBRICO Place) was formed in New Lynn, West Auckland. With the outbreak of war in 1938 and import restrictions to New Zealand, the pottery works company now known as Crown Lynn began supplying both the New Zealand military and the New Zealand Railways with their famous white cups and saucers. From the Second World War till the late ’80’s most New Zealand households used Crown Lynn every day which by then, had developed into fashionable household crockery. Crown Lynn was producing more pottery than any other manufacturer in the Southern Hemisphere. The factory closed its doors in 1989 being unable to compete with imports, after trade barriers were removed. However, two decades after this, Crown Lynn has become trendy and the items that were once found cheap as chips in the charity stores are often now very collectable with a price tag to reflect this.Te Toi Uku roughly translated means the art of clay. It’s located at 8 Ambrico Place, New Lynn, beside the 90 year old Ambrico brick kiln and in the midst of a residential area which has a kindergarten nearby, so parking can be tricky at times. Alternatively you could walk there from the nearby New Lynn transport interchange, and the Lynmall Shopping Centre, both being only 5 – 10 minutes away. It is is currently open Monday-Thursday from 10am-2pm.You can visit their website here Portage Ceramics Trust This includes a growing archive of all things Crown Lynn. There are also two excellent books about Crown Lynn by Valerie Ringer Monk. The first, “Crown Lynn – A New Zealand Icon” was published in 2006. The second, “Crown Lynn – Collectors Handbook” was published in 2013. Both excellent reads for those interested in everything Crown Lynn.
Kiwi Heritage Homestay would like to acknowledge financial contributions from Auckland Council for various renovation projects undertaken around the house. The exterior of the home is Heritage listed.