Members added 18 new topics to Australian Potters’ Marks in January 2016. Here you will find an interesting combination of new finds and potters from the seed directories. We occasionally give potters an asterisked topic even when we don’t know their first name or gender and this is the case with L. Dinan of Wallan Pottery. With the entry on Ellen Hanna-Stanyer and Ray Stanyer we have finally solved another of our enduring mysteries – the painted ‘ES’ mark that was sometimes mistakenly attributed to Ted Secombe. We were pleased to find an example of Rhonda Ogilvie’s work on eBay in January as she and her husband Keith were influential in South Australia, setting up Aldgate Crafts in 1967 and holding major Australia wide exhibitions there. You can find more about Aldgate Crafts in the recently published Tribute Exhibition: Aldgate Crafts 1967-1978. [Maslin Beach, South Australia] [Cedar Prest], 2015. The book contains biographies of a number of potters we haven’t yet added to Australian Potters’ Marks so it will be a useful resource in coming years.
Illustrated: Ellen Hanna-Stanyer’s ‘ES’ painted mark.
Here are the topics added or updated in January 2016:
Welcome to our project to make the marks used by Australian potters easy to find on the Internet. This will be a huge, open-ended task. My guess is that more than 10,000 potters have practiced professionally in Australia over the last fifty years, often using more than one mark to identify their work.
The seed data: From 1977-1996, the Australian Potters’ Society published eight printed directories with short biographies and images of marks. The seed data for this project was derived from these directories. Other sources included Geoff Ford’s Encyclopaedia of Australian Potters Marks, Skepsi’s Celebrating the Master exhibition catalogue and the images of marks included in The Journal of Australian Ceramics from 2010 onwards.
The platform: I’ve chosen two freely available social networking sites to gather and share the data. The index is hosted here on wordpress.com and I’ll also blog regularly to report on progress. Discussions about potters and their marks will take place on the Identifying Australian Pottery group on Flickr, and Flickr will also provide a means of sharing images and building a searchable and browsable image pool.
The images: The seed data describes marks a potter used and which sources have images of those marks. Members of the Identifying Australian Pottery group on Flickr have been creating topics for identified potters, with images of marks, and I am linking these to the index entries as they are created. I’m also archiving the images of identified marks in a separate Flickr account where they can be browsed alphabetically and by state.
A work in progress: While already a useful resource, work has only just begun. Now it will be up to all of us – potters, their families and heirs, collectors, curators, historians, buyers and sellers on the secondary market – to pool our knowledge and to keep adding entries and images as information comes to hand.