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Australian Pottery

Doreen Goodchild Sugar Glider - circa 1930

Doreen Goodchild Sugar Glider Figurine - signed D.G.- circa 1930

Colonial Pottery

Australia has a tradition of pottery production going back almost to the first fleet. The first pottery produced in the fledgling colony was Stoneware Ginger Beer Bottles. This early pottery and in fact all pottery produced before the 1911 Act of Federation is known as Colonial Pottery.

 Bendigo Pottery Water Filter - New Zealand Stone Company

Bendigo Pottery Water Filter manufactured for the New Zealand Stone Company in South Melbourne - circa 1885 - finshed in a magnificent Majolica glaze

During the second half of the ninetieth some manufactures began to glaze there utilitarian Pottery with majolica glazes. Bendigo Pottery was founded in 1857 and by 1879 was applying majolica glazes to its Bread Plates, Tobacco Jars, Teapots, Jugs, Cheese Dishes, Sardine Dishes, Salt Celler’s, Water Filters, Jardinières and Vases. Some of which where also decorated with Australian motifs.

Bendigo Pottery Dogs Head Tobacco Jar
 Bendigo Pottery Dogs Head Tobacco Jar - circa 1885 - rare blue glazed base

 

 The Melbourne suburb of Brunswick was known for its deposits of clay, so it is not by chance that it became a centre for pottery production. Brunswick companies producing Colonial pottery where; Cornwell’s Pottery, Hoffman’s Pottery, Gillbrook Pottery, Victorian Art Pottery, Federal Pottery, and the Brunswick Brick, Tile & Pottery Works.
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Cornwells Majolica Bread Plate - circa 1890


Colonial Potteries operated out of almost all states; in NSW there was Mashman Brothers & Sandison Pottery, Bakewell’s Pottery and Lithgow Pottery. In QLD there was Sandhurst Pottery and Coorparoo Pottery. From the Tasmania town of Launceston we have Campbell’s Pottery and the McHugh brothers. In SA we have Bennett’s Pottery. 

    

Studio Potters

 It is debatable who is the the first Australian studio potter,  but it is either William Ferry or Richard Sturrock, both where manufacturing pottery in Brunswick during the late Victorian era.

 

Merric Boyd is thought of as Australia’s foremost Artistic potter. Merric Boyd began operating a studio from his Murumbeena home from 1913.  Some say that Merric Boyd is the father of Australian Studio pottery. This is of course debatable, but there can be no doubt of the artistic dynasty founded by Merric Boyd and his wife, Doris Lucy Gough.
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Doris Boyd signed Cat Figurine - dated 1926
 

This dynasty includes Guy Boyd, (or Martin Boyd), Arthur Boyd (A.M. Boyd) and David & Hermia Boyd. Of course there are also the many ceramic artists associated with the Boyd’s, such as Hatten Beck, John Perceval, John Howley and Neil Douglas.

AM Boyd  Neil Douglas Plaque

A.M. Boyd Plaque - "Gum Leaves In Sunlight" by Neil Douglas - circa 1950

 

Golden Age Of Australian Pottery

I believe that the period from the 1930’s to 1960’s was the Golden Age for Australian Pottery. This Golden Age was the fruit of the Great Depression. Manufactures that had produced clay pipes, roof tiles and bricks turned to Art Ware to keep the kilns fired and their families fed.

 

Companies like Bakewell and Regal Mashman of NSW, McHugh and John Campbell of Launceston in Tasmania, Bennets of South Australia and Bendigo, Hoffman (Melrose) and Cornwells in Victoria. All had produced some Art Pottery since Colonial times, but as The Depression took its toll these companies turned to Art as an economic savior. 

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William Ricketts Possum Man



The Depression also saw a boom in Studio Potters. Artisan such as Marguerite Mahood, Grace Seccombe, Castle Harris, Phillipa James, Klytie Pate, Una Deerbon and William Rickett produced figural and hand decorated pottery that are some of the iconic Australian art works of the twentieth century.



It was during the early 1930’s that Premier Pottery Preston where refining the style that would go into producing Pamula and then Remued Pottery. In 1934 Bakewell Brothers of Sydney employed Daisy Merton who went on to hand paint pottery with Australian themes, later Joy Yasman was also employed. 

Post WWII Pottery

 Carl Cooper Plaque

Carl Cooper Hand Painted Plaque - dated 1949

Due to the restrictions during WWII little art pottery was produced during the first half of the 1940’s, but from 1945 production began again with almost a vengeance.  From this period onwards there was a movement towards hand painted decoration.

Martin Boyd Aboriginal Style Wall Plaque
Martin Boyd Wall Plaque - Circa 1950

This change was led by studios such as A.M. Boyd, Martin Boyd, Carl Cooper, Vande Pottery. Other post war manufactures produced slip cast product, companies such as Diana, Pates, Modern Ceramic Products (MCP) and Casey Ware.

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Guy Boyd Plaque - Australian Outback scene by Jock Fraser - circa 1955
 


From the late 1940’s Australia saw an influx of European migrants; these migrants brought a range of skills that enriched not only the art pottery scene, but Australia in general.

MCP Orpheus Arfaras Bowl 

 MCP Bowl - Orpheus Arfaras painted Aboriginal Style Motif - circa 1950

Amongst the migrants where the ceramic artists, Orpheus Arfaras, Norm Sherratt and Lillian Pakulski. Not only where the talented migrants employed by existing producers, some went on to form their own potteries such as Kalmar Pottery (AACP), Studio Anna and Little Sydney Pottery Company.

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Studio Anna Candle Holder - circa 1962

 

Comments  

 
0 #9 Australian Pottery - Nicholnack.com.auIesha 2014-04-30 13:23
Hi every one, here every person is sharing these experience, therefore it's good to read this website,
and I used to go to see this webpage all the time.
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0 #8 re: Doulton Box InsertsBruce Nichol 2012-02-27 22:04
They do come along from time to time. The problem is most people do not know whtat they are. I have seen them sold as all sorts of things, mainly pin or ring trays. These are quite rare boxes, it will be some hunt to find the inserts Quoting Shirley M:
Hi
Thanks for providing such an iteresting site.
Have recently acquired a RD cigarette box with a picture of an angry golfer kicking his bag. Unfortunately the little trays are missing. Do these ever come up separately?
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+1 #7 Royal Doulton Cigarette BoxShirley M 2012-02-27 21:28
Hi
Thanks for providing such an iteresting site.
Have recently acquired a RD cigarette box with a picture of an angry golfer kicking his bag. Unfortunately the little trays are missing. Do these ever come up separately?
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0 #6 RE: AMBBruce Nichol 2012-02-24 20:05
AMB is the mark that denotes a pottery set up in Murrumbeena by the Arthur Boyd, John Perceval & Peter Herbst. It was named after Arthurs grandfather Arthur Meric Boyd. It was in production from 1944 to circa 1963. Would love to see a photo of your pot, you can email an image to nicholnack@optu snet.com.auQuoting maryln peterman:
i have a vase with handles white trimed with blue it has what appears to be 3 ladies with trees or vines to thier sides it appeares to be very old age cracks it has AMB on bottom any ideas welcome thanks
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+1 #5 amb vasemaryln peterman 2012-02-24 17:40
i have a vase with handles white trimed with blue it has what appears to be 3 ladies with trees or vines to thier sides it appeares to be very old age cracks it has AMB on bottom any ideas welcome thanks
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0 #4 RE: Rob & Gum Nut VaseBruce Nichol 2011-12-29 20:59
Without seeing the item I cannot be conclusive. But I believe it will be from one of the Sydney Factories that operated post WWII. I know Diana slip cast items decorated with Gum Nuts and they used a V code: the V stands for vase and the numerals are the shape number. It could also be Pates who also used a V code and there is an outside chance it could be MCP. Please send photos? to nicholnack@optu snet.com.au and may be I can give you a more definitive answer. Quote:
I have aquired a very large glazed gum nut vase which is marked V followed by a couple of numbers. I have spend hours trying to find the makers name.

can you help out at all.

And of course thumbs up with your website being a collector I am always stumbling across your site with such strong pictures. Well done
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+3 #3 Back stampsRob 2011-12-29 06:12
I have aquired a very large glazed gum nut vase which is marked V followed by a couple of numbers. I have spend hours trying to find the makers name.

can you help out at all.

And of course thumbs up with your website being a collector I am always stumbling across your site with such strong pictures. Well done
Quote
 
 
+3 #2 mrspaula 2010-11-27 23:04
I have an ashtray of a black lady 25 cm high and 16 cm wide,she is squatting holding a drum with a white ashtray between her knees.Underneath on white ceramic is H.31.Im wondering if its the work of Kalmar as im to believe its not a barsony piece as she has a twisted brass earing.Any information would be apreciated.
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+4 #1 Lloyd 2010-06-21 00:41
Thanks for the background info on the Neil Douglas plate. I have several plates painted by Neil and am always on the lookout for more.
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