Gone Potty owner closing city store after nine years

After nearly a decade cooped up in her Dunedin pottery studio, Bridget Paape says creating art has stopped her from going a bit potty herself.

She hoped a fresh breath of country air and more time with her family would lend itself well to her ceramic painting business.

"I think creating makes you sane," she said.

Gallery, gift store and ceramic painting studio Gone Potty will be vacating its Moray Pl premises after nine years of operating in Dunedin.

Ms Paape — a ceramic artist and owner of the store — said she started the business 24 years ago, originally in Arrowtown, before moving to Dunedin in 2015.

She now plans to operate the business from her new home near Clyde once she has moved sometime in the next three months.

Ms Paape said she hoped moving out of Dunedin and working from home would give her "more time to do me" and create more artwork, as well as being closer to her family.

"I’ve done my dash I think ... It’s time for a change, really.

"There won’t be so many roadworks down Dunstan Rd, thank goodness."

She started painting ceramics after encouragement from her mother, and was completely self-taught, Ms Paape said.

Dunedin artist and Gone Potty owner Bridget Paape is leaving the city and taking her ceramic...
Dunedin artist and Gone Potty owner Bridget Paape is leaving the city and taking her ceramic business with her to Central Otago in the coming months. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Retail "had gotten tougher and tougher" since the Covid-19 pandemic.

The business had been able to survive for nine years by her having a finger in different pies and appealing to people’s creativity, she said.

Gone Potty served as a gift store for her ceramic painting studio, where she sold a lot of her own artwork as well as homewares, personalised ceramic paintings, New Zealand art and Dunedin-themed memorabilia.

Her range of ceramics had even been sold at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum and since the pandemic she had begun recording livestreams on social media, which had resulted in thousands of followers and nationwide business, she said.

She also offered the studio for hen parties, work groups and birthdays to give people the chance to give ceramics a crack.

Another ceramicist would set up shop in the studio space, through whom she would continue to sell her Gone Potty wares in Dunedin, she said.

She had met so many lovely people over the past nine years, and was expecting to entertain nearly 200 people at an upcoming farewell gathering for the store, Ms Paape said.

"A lot of people here I find, when they start shopping with you they are very loyal.

"I’ve already had some of the people arrive with bouquets of flowers and tears. It’s been quite sweet."