Scope

Gunda. Ashtray. 1960s.

For Geoff and Kerrie Ford Australian pottery means the pottery of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Geoff Ford’s Encyclopaedia of Australian Potter’s Marks documents pre 1975 potters, potteries and their marks. When Australian auction houses use the term Australian pottery to describe the content of an upcoming auction they usually mean the slipcast works of pre-1975 potteries or the pieces described by Kevin Fahy et al in Australian Art Pottery 1900-1950. The subject of this blog is Australian contemporary pottery – starting with the work of potters influenced by the Leach Hamada tradition in the 1960s and extending to new work being created today. It will also deal with studio potters and potteries from the earlier period. There was no clean break in tradition. Potters like Klytie Pate, the only living artist in Australian Art Pottery 1900-1950 when it was published in 2004, worked up until 1998. Potters like Chris Sanders, Deborah Halpern and Ivan Gluch come from a family tradition of making pots. The works of mid-century potteries such as Ellis and Gunda (illustrated) surprise with their modernist forms and interesting glazes.

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7 comments

  1. My Father, Kevin Frederick Buik, came from a bloodline of Pottery Masters, himself included. On January 27 2010, he passed away. His passion was in tutoring, creative design in clay products. Most notably close to him his tutoring the community in pottery classes at Hawkesbury Agricultural college and the more exclusive Caroma Pottery in Chatswood in 1981. I have many of his works from his estate including his highly prized crystalline glazed pottery that remained in his close possesion. Definately not interested in sale of possessions, but keen to add his name to the History books of this now retired trade. Happy to post pictures if the community is interested in these works.

    1. Hi Andrew, I would be very interested in seeing pictures of your father’s work. I have an entry for him in my database because he was in Potters 1988, but I don’t have a record of his mark, so it would be good to see a picture of one. If you can post the pictures on the Identifying Australian Pottery group and start a discussion there, that would be good, otherwise I’ll get in touch with you directly.

    2. Hi Andrew I had an urge to google dad to see if I could find out where and how he was, very sad to hear of your loss, is mum still with you. I was privileged to be taught by your father and be involved in the Art Group at Hawkesbury Ag during the late 80’s and early 90’s, I have some very fond memories indeed. We moved out of the area in the late 90’s up to the Northern Rivers area, I have never been able to find such a group of potters as we had and definitely have never been able to find a teacher and guide like your dad. I have a few crystalline pieces that dad help me glaze and I cherish them. Take care just needed to pass on my thoughts, so happy that Australian Pottery wishes to capture his work. Regards Kate Mager

    3. Andrew I very sorry to hear of your fathers passing. I have many fond memories of working for him at Personality Pottery Castlereagh.
      I made planters, strawberry pots and chimney pots for Sanderson until they closed in 2006.

    4. Andrew,
      Sorry to hear of your fathers passing.
      I am an avid rummager and on one of my missions i found a blue ceremic plate that is quirky and well made. It bears the same initials as your father. I am happy to send a pic. Thanks in advance. Look foward to hearing from you.

      KLJ

      1. Hi Kat, Andrew last commented here five years’ ago so I doubt he will see your message, especially as this is not a discussion forum but just a place where I blog about Australian pottery. If you would like help to identify this plate, you could try posting pictures on the Identifying Australian Pottery group on Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/groups/austpots/) or the Australian Studio Pottery Collectors group on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/838880249456248/). These two groups have many hundreds of members who might be able to help.

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