The above image shows our two new muddy wheels, courtesy of Venco!
Venco Pottery Wheels – Albany, Western Australia
Once upon a time in WA, a family man took it upon himself to handcraft a stand up pottery wheel in 1972. His name was Mr Geoffery Hill. A few decades, models, shades of colour and 3 generations later – the Venco Pottery Wheels are still being handbuilt today! These smooth ceramic workhorses are made just 5 hours south of Perth in Albany by Mr. Hill’s grandson, Elliott Reynolds, & the Venco team.
It was this incredible story that got these Two Muddy Men on a roadtrip to Albany, WA – to see the magic happen & maybe splurge on a pottery wheel, or two, along the way. So off they went, spreading the ceramic love across the state, in pursuit of every potter’s dream – THE pottery wheel!
The coveted Venco 3 Pottery wheel, assembled and ready for their new homes!
The Two Muddy Men – Joshua (L) & Isaac (R) – go to Albany, WA!
Just what makes these wheels so special? Nearly every part (minus a few specialty motors & circuit boards) is made & machined in Albany – a true Aussie company! Although Mr. Geoffery Hill, the founder of Venco, is no longer with us, his great legacy lives on!
This humble Albany based company is actually internationally known for their high quality wheels, clay extruders and slab rollers (they also make a fine cup of coffee after our 5 hour roadtrip). Their products are known for being reliable with impeccable workmanship. All of this, combined with that ‘oh-so-very-Venco teal’, is what keeps us coming back for more.
In our original 2021 fleet of 4 wheels, we chose the classic Venco 3 Pottery Wheels – powered by the Venco cone drive. These wheels have been nothing short of incredible, and we are not surprised! Our first wheel – also known as ‘Old Faithful’ – is living proof of their prolific lifespan.
OLD FAITHFUL is our original Venco Wheel that we rescued and is still going strong! Circa late 1970’s.
The first of many to come – this original pottery wheel was operated standing up! It would have been all the rage today with us standing desk nerds.
This Venco classic is circa late 1970’s. Can you imagine sitting in the grass, flare jeans & sounds of the Seekers playing in the background – groovy baby.
Circa 1980’s – 1990’s. One of Venco’s most frequently asked questions – when is the return of salmon pink coming?
Upon exploring an 80’s pottery studio 3 years ago, we actually discovered a wheel of that very same curious colour, hiding beneath a heap of newspapers. Merrill of Venco (the daughter of Mr. Geoffery Hill) reckons she is perhaps circa late 1970’s! Thanks to their trusty cone drive, and a little TLC, she is still kicking clay around with the new wheels on the block today – like the little legend she is!
In this image, you can see the famous cone drive itself. When you are channeling your inner pottery DJ – spinning your vinyls – in our studio, something very curious is happening on the inside of your wheel. As you press the foot pedal, you are actually moving an aperture up and down the cone, which determines how fast the wheel spins!
The Venco cone drive, machined in Albany, it is the cornerstone of their reputation of reliable precision & durability.
The Tesla of Pottery Wheels – the Venco Direct Drive!
If you think of the Venco 3 Wheels as the age of the vinyl – nostalgic, unmatched quality. Then our New Venco Direct Drives would be like the shiny new age of electric cars. The Venco Direct Drives are smooth, noise-free and even have a set & forget – aka. the potters equivalent of cruise control. They also come in a cool 3 legged & tabletop format! We chose the classic base – as it pays homage to its roots.
Don’t take our word for it, drop into the studio & give them a whirl for yourself!
The Two Muddy Men are ‘wheely’ happy to have met the family behind their favourite pottery wheels! Pictured from left to right: Isaac, Elliott & Joshua.
A BIG ‘Thank You’ goes out to Merrill, Dave & Elliott for allowing us to nosey around the factory and ask you a thousand questions. You guys are the real deal and are the caliber we aspire to. We can’t wait to get our hands on one of those Pug Mills very soon – just don’t tell our wives!