The Kilns at Te Horo

entry (by donation) $5

Celebrating the legacy of Mirek Smíšek and creating future inspiration

.OPEn Thurs - Sun 10am to 4pm

Applications now open for Resident Potter.

Welcome To

The Kilns at Te Horo

Homepage image: Photograph by Rosalie Willis


Open every Thursday - Sunday, 10am- 4pm
Entry by donation of $5 per person
- run by a Charitable Trust, all donations and support are appreciated.

Located at Jim Winiata Way - off School Rd on the eastern side of the over-bridge at Te Horo.

Visit this exciting project, centred around Mirek Smíšek's hand-built brick beehive kilns, located where Smíšek created a hub for ceramic art for more than 40 years. Celebrating the legacy of the past and again becoming a lively and inspirational place.

Join us as volunteer staff - just a few hours a week - or take on other tasks. Join the mailing list to keep up to date with news and events.

RESIDENCY APPLICATIONS OPEN - 6 months with studio and accommodation included.
For a term of six months from 1 September 2024 to 29 March 2025 (or otherwise agreed in writing). 
The Residency at “The Kilns at Te Horo” offers a ceramic artist a beautiful location to interpret Smíšek’s legacy connected to a vibrant artistic community. It is also an essential element of The Mirek Smíšek’ Art Trust’s commitment to celebrate, educate and inspire.  

Living on site in the fully furnished two bedroom former Te Horo Railway Station.   Use of the Doreen Blumhardt Potter’s Studio and separate Kiln room. Includes:  Electric wheel,  Benches and shelving.  5cu ft electric kiln.  30cu ft diesel-fired brick soda kiln (offsite).  20cu ft gas kiln (to be confirmed).  Pug mill.  Slab roller. Space to exhibit and sell work.

The Resident has 6 months to develop their chosen aspect of practice. They are required to create work for end of residency exhibition,  donate one piece to “The Kilns” permanent collection, conduct two weekend ‘masterclasses’;  and a workshop for young people and or school groups. Also to maintain an “open door” to the pottery studio when “The Kilns” are open to the public Thursday-Sunday.

Application deadline  29 April 2024
We ask for a project proposal, short bio and ceramic related c-v, details of any teaching, and images of work.
For an APPLICATION FORM email Thekilnsattehoro@gmail.com  or if you have any questions.


Brick tiles are hand built and stamped with your name can be purchased for $250. The tiles. will be displayed alongside the Mirerk Smisek bee-hive kilns and funds will help the charitable Trust to keep the kilns site open to the public four days a week throughout the ear, plus for further developments.
To buy copy and paste into your browser the link below, or email Thekilnsattehoro@gmail.com


Mirek Smíšek at the pottery wheel

Mirek Smíšek


Mirek Smíšek is an internationally celebrated ceramic artist who lived and worked at Te Horo, New Zealand from 1969 to 1997.

Mirek’s life was dedicated to his craft. He began working with clay in Australia in 1948, after having left his devastated homeland, Czechoslovakia, at the end of World War II.

Moving to New Zealand in 1951 Mirek joined Crown Lynn Pottery in Auckland where he experimented with free-flowing Bohemian decorative vases.

Leaving behind factory production he moved to Nelson where by 1956 he became New Zealand's first fulltime independent studio potter.

In the 1960s he worked a year at the Leach Pottery in England and studied in Japan. Smíšek was influenced by the Leach Ango-Japanese ascetic then proceeded to develop his own distinctive forms.

Smíšek was awarded an OBE in recognition of his work in 1990 and in 2008 the Czech Government presented him with the Medal of the Senate for his contributions to Czech culture.


Hei whakahihiri, hei whakaako
me te whakanui

To inspire, educate and celebrate.

Mirek Smíšek’s iconic beehive kilns at Te Horo were a hub of ceramic excellence for more than 40 years. We are building on his legacy by preserving the kilns, restoring the land and buildings and becoming a unique community hub again – for future inspiration, education and celebration. There is native bush to explore, a resident potter working on site, and will be kiln-openings, exhibitions, events and more through out the year.

It is managed by The Miek Smisek Arts Trust - a charitable trust.

The Kilns at Te Horo is an exciting visitor destination and a new attraction on the Kapiti Coast.

Members of the Mirek Smíšek Trust, Smíšek’s Family, Councillors, and Czech Consul General
Members of the Mirek Smíšek Trust, Smíšek’s Family, Councillors, and Czech Consul General
Join Us

Become one of the team

Join us and become part of the team to help with The Kilns at Te Horo.
A place where ceramic history is told and future experiences are made.
Where the legacy of Mirek Smíšek lives on!


Volunteers are needed to staff the Kilns on days open to the public (Thurs - Sun). Lots of other roles too.
Enquire or registered below


Show your support by buying a brick - handmade featuring your name and on display at The Kilns. $250
Go to thekilns.helloclub.com  

Keep in the loop

Join the mailing list to get behind the scenes update, invitations to events and much more.

Mirek Smíšek at the pottery wheel

About the Trust

A group of local residents saw the opportunity to honour Mirek Smisek’s life and art and create a multi-cultural arts centre when work began on the Otaki-Peka Peka section of the expressway (SH1).

From a germ of an idea the concept has grown with the support of the community, Kapiti Coast’s Mayor and Councillors, Waka Kotahi, Fletchers and Heritage New Zealand leading to the formal foundation of a charitable entity: The Mirek Smíšek Arts Trust in 2019.

Bringing ‘The Kilns at Te Horo’ alive has been a significant undertaking by many people who have already given time and resources. And the work goes on! There is plenty yet to do to make it happen.

Keep up to date. Or join us.

The Kilns at Te Horo Logo

Contact Us

The Kilns at Te Horo
Opening late 2023
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