Among the pots that we put to work in our home is a large (11 cm high and 39 cm in diameter) bowl made by Ian Drummond. We use this as our fruit bowl and it does a fine job, sometimes decorating the dining table, sometimes set within easy reach under the kitchen window.
This morning I emptied it to give it a wash and took a moment to appreciate the abstract swirl of colours and the fine craquelature of the glaze. The outside of the bowl is a very intense ultramarine and the rim is gilded. The white stoneware foot ring and base are unglazed and the potter’s mark – Drummond – has been painted on the base in brown oxide.
We first saw Drummond’s work at Beaver Galleries in the 1990s, then noticed pieces starting to appear on the secondary market in the same distinctive style. The artist page on the Herons Gallery Castlemaine website is the only published source of information about him that we have been able to find. This says that he has a degree in architecture, a diploma of art, and training in sumi-e painting; that he set up the Greenhill Pottery in 1980; and that he makes stoneware decorated with feldspathic glazes coloured with oxides of chrome, cobalt, copper and iron.
The broad semi-transparent brush strokes and vibrant colours applied to our bowl are particularly suited to the finely made hemispherical form. We have a smaller bowl where the brush strokes have been applied to the outside of the form and the inside is monochrome and it works equally well.
Ian Drummond has now provided a link to his new website, with examples of his work from 1972 onwards. Our piece is similar to a dish dated 1995.