Our new season opens this weekend, Friday 29 September. The exhibition features Australian studio pottery masters, including but not limited to Jane Barrow, Garry Bish, Les Blakebrough, Pippin Drysdale, John Gilbert, Andrew Halford, Peter Harris, Col Levy, Jenny Orchard, Peter Rushforth, Chris Sanders, Ted Secombe, Shigeo Shiga, Hiroe Swen and Amanda Warner. For the first time, we have no mystery potters in the main gallery but we still have a wide range of pots in the workroom – some by known artists and others still mysteries – for those who like to venture there. We will be open on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday during the season and by appointment at other times.
Three recent Col Levy acquisitions on display in our downstairs foyer.
We were pleased to acquire this large handbuilt piece by Judy Lorraine this week. It is 32 cm high with a tiny nut-like opening and swelling assymetric shape. The surface has been worked all over with a modelling tool and burnished with oxide. Judy Lorraine has almost no auction record and, until now, we have only been able to find her thrown domestic work on the secondary market, so this piece has been a welcome addition to our collection.
Over the years we’ve acquired a number of pottery steamers made by Ian Sprague. They look like lidded pots but have a central chimney. By placing the steamer above a pot of boiling water, you can use it to cook rice, meat, fish or vegetables. This style of steamer is said to have originated in China where it has been in use for many centuries.
The two steamers in the picture above are both recent acquisitions. The steamer on the left has Ian Sprague’s personal and Mungeribar Pottery marks. The one on the right has a mark that we haven’t seen before; however, the style is so close to Ian Sprague’s early work that we are almost certain it was made at Mungeribar.
Sprague’s personal mark is a capital I over a horizontal separator and the Morse code for S—three dots. This mark has a similar form and may be a precursor.
This video shows a contemporary potter making a steamer in the same design.
Pineapple vase by Andrew Cope and ash glazed vase by Geoff Crispin, both 33 cm tall.
David and I have at last safely received the Jeff Mincham piece that we bought from Mossgreen Auctions in July. It is dated c. 2006 and, at 76 cm high, is one of our largest pieces. (Only our Ian Sprague bullet form is taller, with a height of 110 cm.) With a bit of a stretch, our new Jeff Mincham fits into our “Pale and Interesting” theme for this season with its cream, tan and pale viridian colours and our main issue at the moment is to find the best place to display it. With a very narrow profile, it is probably best set against a wall but it also needs to be seen in the round. Moving it from one place to another will keep us happily engaged over the weekend when not entertaining visitors.