'Our geriatric therapy': Canterbury women keep a lid on arthritis with pot business


Mari Scott and Jean Laming with their hand decorated ceramic pots at the Amberley Craft Market....
Mari Scott and Jean Laming with their hand decorated ceramic pots at the Amberley Craft Market. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE
Finding a solution to keep their arthritis at bay has become a creative endeavour for two Canterbury women.

Amberley's Jean Laming and Mari Scott run Dotty Pots, a hand-painted ceramic pots stall at the Amberley Craft Market.

‘‘We call it our geriatric therapy,’’ says Jean, who loves painting.

‘‘A few years back, I painted a pot for a friend, they liked it, and the demand bloomed from there.’’

She and Mari have been coming to the market for many years.

‘‘It’s very social here, we love meeting and chatting to all the tourists and visitors each week.’’

Mari says she also loves the atmosphere of the market.

‘‘The people here are nice and friendly, everyone gets on and all the stallholders help each other out when needed.

‘‘It is enough for us, it’s important as we get older, to still be able to socialise and meet other people.

‘‘The painting, and the market, help to keep our minds off the struggles we are having to face now around getting on waiting lists for treatment of our arthritis,’’ says Mari.

Jean’s passion for painting goes back many years as the creative over 80-year-old used to travel the world and see her artworks hanging in international galleries.

Born in Auckland, her artistic talents were recognised at an early age, and at 15 she had one of her paintings selected for a Unesco world exhibition.

At the time, the then-director of the Auckland Art Gallery, Eric Westbrook, suggested she travel to the United Kingdom to study fine arts, something her parents heavily disapproved of.

At 19, she travelled to Australia and became an Archibald and Wynne Prizewinner, with artist Sam Fullbrook as her mentor.

She also has painted murals in Pakistan, worked on a series of paintings about child trafficking and abuse, participated in a 2011 exhibition in Italy, wrote two musicals, illustrated several books and published many cartoons.

Her talent for mural painting also took her to many cities, including San Francisco, London, Sydney and Geneva.