David and I went to the Shapiro Important Australian Art Pottery auction in Sydney on the weekend and we are now the owners of a small selection of works by Gwyn Hanssen Pigott. The creamer in this porcellaineous stoneware set is impressed with the potter’s “O” mark. It is similar to Andrew Halford’s Terrey Hill mark, only larger. The other two pieces are unmarked – so watch out for simple, perfectly-made bowls with fine edges and subtle glazes.
Hanssen Pigott has been a potter for over fifty years. She trained with Ivan McMeekin at Sturt Pottery from 1955-1958, then spent fifteen years working in England and France. On her return to Australia in 1973 she settled first in Tasmania, then spent a year at the Jam Factory in Adelaide, South Australia, before moving to Queensland in 1981.
These pieces date from Hanssen Pigott’s time as resident potter at the Kelvin Grove campus of the Queensland University of Technology. The linear design on the dish offset with strokes of gold was a form of decoration that she explored for a short time in the mid 1980s.
Jason Smith, Gwyn Hanssen Pigott: A Survey 1955-2005 is the best source for more information on this internationally renowned potter and some good articles can also be found online.