We recently bought a small collection of Phillip McConnell pots, mainly functional, with some fine examples of his early work. Most of them were marked with an impressed ‘Pm’, together with the Pinjarra Pottery mark, dating them to before 1975, when McConnell established his own ‘The Pottri’ near Toowoomba. This set of four rice bowls, however, have a different mark.
I thought at first that it was the ‘HH’ mark used by Carl McConnell from 1949-62 (Glenn Cooke, Carl McConnell master potter, Queensland Art Gallery, 1986, p. 55). On closer inspection, it only has three vertical strokes with the last two closed at the top. Phillip McConnell says that this is definitely not one of the marks used at the Pinjarra Pottery.
The bowls are very well made, with a pale grey, finely speckled stoneware clay body, well-honed foot ring and lustrous tenmoku glaze. I assume from the shared provenance that they date from around the same time as the Phillip McConnell pieces and that they are also the work of a Queensland potter.
These have now been identified as by Harry Ashburner. The mark is an impressed ‘HA’. Harry Ashburner was active in the 1970s on the Gold Coast.