Ted Secombe

Known potter #29: David Oswald

David Oswald. Copper red vessel

David Oswald. Copper red vessel. Base

This large vessel of flattened spherical shape with copper red glaze made by David Oswald has been in our collection since we bought it at Beaver Galleries in the early 1990s. The curved bamboo handle, the unglazed, carved panel on the front in its gilded frame, and the gilded and carved decoration of the handle supports and central opening lend it a ceremonial, oriental feel.  At 19 cm high (26 with the handle) and 33 cm in diameter, it holds sway in any room in which it is displayed.

David Oswald is a Brisbane-based potter from Cairns, Northern Queensland, who has been working as a ceramist for many years. In the 1990s, he and Ted Secombe formed a company to market their works to corporations, hotel chains and resorts. This venture is described in Pottery in Australia, 36/1:13-15. The highly finished base with its classy ‘OZ’ seal and impressed number reflect this marketing approach.

In spite of this, the quality of his work, and the number of pieces that must now grace boardrooms and hotel foyers in Australia and overseas, he has a surprisingly low profile in the print media and on the Internet. He maintained a website from 1999-2003 but it has been taken down now.   Toward the end of that time,  he was working eight months of the year as a ceramic artist and had become involved in property development projects and architectural glass making ( Gold Coast Bulletin (1 March 2003 and 24 April 2004).