Mystery potter #4: Clive Simmonds

Stoneware bowl Stoneware bowl. Side view Stoneware bowl. Potter's mark

This stoneware bowl with carved and cut-out rim has the potter’s incised mark on the base but I can’t make out the letters. Is this a known potter whose mark hasn’t been recorded in any of the published directories? Or is it one of the many extremely competent practitioners who do not have a public presence?

An eBay seller commented recently that a listed work had to be by a known potter because it was so well-made. In fact, many competent potters have no record in the published literature and no current web presence.

Postscript

Marianne Cole has let me know that this is the work of Clive Simmonds ( -1997) with whom she shared a studio at Dot and Eddie Andrews’ Paris Creek Craft Workshops in the late 1970s. It is likely that Clive and his wife Margaret came from England to work at Paris Creek at the Andrews’ invitation.

Peter Minsen (“A note about Paris Creek”, Ausglas Newsletter, 1980) mentions Simmons [sic] as one of the potters there, and notes that he specialised in cutting and drilling holes in his pots, as in our example. (Minsen joined the workshops in 1979 as a glassblower.)

Work by the Simmonds was included in an exhibition of crafts from Paris Creek at the Laburnum Gallery held in c.1980, with Clive exhibiting pottery and Margaret leather bags, and purses with applique ([Invitation], Laburnaum Gallery file, State Library of Victoria).

Clive Simmonds’ son has let me know in the comment below that his father emigrated with his family to Australia in 1978 and settled on a property down the road from the Paris Creek Craft Workshops. He leased a workshop there but gave up pottery in the early to mid-1980s when it became harder to make a living as a potter. He became interested in wine making and became the manager of Noon’s winery at Mclaren Vale.

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5 comments

  1. We found another piece by this potter recently and I now think that the signature is CS/82 where 82 is the date. I still have no idea who this CS is though.

  2. have just found 2 pieces of Clive Simmonds work today. Incised CS and I think 87. also has black and gold sticker with” An original handmade gift by Clive Simmonds”

  3. Clive didn’t return to England. It became harder to make a decent living out of his pottery and he got really interested in wine making. He stopped potting in the mid 80s and became the manager of Noon’s winery at Mclaren Vale, South Australia. He was popular and well known in the Mclaren Vale wine making region and the annual trophy for the best winery cellar door is still named after him. Sadly Dad died suddenly in 1997 following surgery for cancer.

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