There’s no real pattern here: I’ve been photographing and listing new acquisitions before putting them away in the container; and I’ve also been conducting an audit of our drawers to find pieces ‘lost’ when we cleared the decks for this season’s exhibition. Tony Martin falls into both categories. We recently bought this huge (40 cm high) jug by him and already had a dry-glaze bowl in one of our gallery drawers.
This pin dish with slate blue sides and maroon interior is signed ‘A. Winter’. It is a lovely piece with a well-turned foot ring; thick-walled at the base then narrowing to a fine rim so that the intense maroon glaze is seamless from edge to edge. The colouring reminds me of Klytie Pate’s work and this made me think it could be an early post-war piece by a Melbourne maker who had trained at Melbourne Technical College when Pate was teaching there.
After exhausting sources like Geoff Ford’s Encyclopaedia of Australian Potters’ Marks, Peter Timm’s Australian Studio Pottery & China Painting and Australian Art Pottery 1900-1950, I would normally have had to put this in the mystery potter basket. However, a search on Trove for “A. Winter” pottery turned up an article from The Argus Women’s Magazine (“The Art of Pottery“, The Argus, 1 Nov 1949, p. 2 S) about a Mrs A. Winter who was pottery mistress at Swinburne Technical College and known by her fellow potters for her experimental work. The library at the (now) Swinburne University of Technology has also been busy digitising course handbooks and a Mrs A. Winter D.S.T.C. was on the full-time staff and teaching evening classes as late as 1965.
I feel I now have enough information about the maker of this pin dish to call her a known potter, although conventions of the day for naming married women mean that I still don’t know her first name. Also, I’m not sure what the initials D.S.T.C. stand for so I haven’t been able to confirm where she received her formal training. (Do you know?)