Mystery potter #37: ‘NS’ or ‘SN’?

Salt-glazed spherical vase

Salt-glazed spherical vase. Base

This 14 cm high, wood-fired vase with blue salt glaze has puzzled us since we bought it on eBay in 2007. We have recorded the incised mark as ‘NS’ or ‘SN’, but it could be some other combination of letters.

I’ve compared the mark with Ian Jones’ incised ‘IJ’ and it is clearly different. Wood-fire potters working with blue salt glazes like John Dermer, Fergus Stewart or Greg Crowe have their own distinctive marks.

The April 2010 issue of the Journal of Australian Ceramics was dedicated to wood-firing and has a double-page  (pp.58-9) of potters’ marks.  Geoff Crispin’s was the closest match, but not an exact one.  Crispin has a set of pages on his website showing the development of his work over time, and I can’t immediately see a stylistic link either. Incidentally, Kirk Winter has used 17 marks from 1992-2009!

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