Mystery potter #28: ‘Julie’

Julie. Goblet-shaped vase

Julie. Goblet-shaped vase. Marks

This 16 cm high stoneware vase or large beaker is glazed celadon on the inside, with a white slip wash, and left unglazed on the outside except for a thin band around the rim. While it looks like a goblet, the pedestal base is hollow. The upper half is decorated with a wide band of sharply carved low relief griffins and other mythological animals, coloured with a blue-grey slip and stained with oxide.  The base is signed ‘Julie 77’ and there are also two seals impressed on the side, one a trefoil, the other a triangle inside a triangle.

With so many maker’s marks, it is quite poignant that this pot has become separated from its maker. Juliet Bailey, a potter active in Bairnsdale, Victoria, in the 1980s, signed her work ‘Julie’, but her hand (as evidenced in the 1985 and 1986 potters’ directories) is different. I also have two other mystery potters signing their work ‘Julie’, each in different hands again. It turns out that Julie is a popular name for a potter.

Julie Clay, Julie Shaw and Julie Shepherd sign their work with their full names, from the examples I’ve seen. Julie Fraser uses an F in an egg-shaped form in the 1981 and 1985 directories.

Here are the  Julies in my database without a mark yet recorded: Julie Bartholomew (a NSW potter who began exhibiting in the early 1990s), Julie Bloom (a student at Caulfield Institute of Technology in 1981), Julie Emerson (a Queensland potter active in the 1980s), Julie Hants ( a student at Bendigo College of Advanced Education in 1990), Julie Kerner (a NSW potter with an entry in the 1974 directory and several mentions in early issues of Pottery in Australia), Julie Martin (a student at Sydney College of the Arts in 1984), Julie Paterson (in stock at Collect in Sydney in 2006), and Julie Stoneman (a member of the Laburnum Gallery, Blackburn, Victoria, cooperative in the 1980s).

Of these,  Julie Kerner looks like a possible contender. There is a picture on the cover of Pottery in Australia, 8/2 (1969) of an unglazed stoneware architectural form made by Julie Kerner and Brig Taylor. One might see a stylistic connection. But David rightly says that one might also not.


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