Guildford Village Potters was established in 1978 by Jenny Miller Nixon and twenty-one of her former students from the Midland Technical School. Early in the Australian Potters’ Marks Project, Peter (sevenshadesofblue) set up an album with images of works and marks used by members of the group. We added names to the alphabetic and state lists but it seemed expedient at the time to point all the links to the Guildford Village Potters entry. My project this month has been to give all the members their own entries. While some new members have joined since then and others have gone on to do other things, many of the original members are still exhibiting pottery at the old Police Station building the group currently occupies. We don’t have marks for all the members and welcome further contributions.
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.