In October, we added 22 topics. These are an interesting mix of the old and the new. Elke Australia is often mistaken for Ellis but deserves a topic in its own right and we now know quite a bit about it thanks to research conducted by the Rameking. Jan Gluch’s work is sometimes attributed to his son Ivan and this has now been redressed in a Jan Gluch topic. We have been able to document John Pigott’s marks with the help of John Blaine who owns a number of his works. We also added a topic for the Mildura potter Doris Evelyn Ezard after her story was discussed on the Australian Pottery group on Facebook. Among newer potters is Marina Pribaz whose work David and I found in Melbourne during our winter break and Clare Urquhart whose mark was illustrated in the Journal of Australian Ceramics 52/2. The title group for October is Valley Potters Inc. The Dandenong Ranges Ceramic Group which opened its studios to the public last weekend has some members in common with Valley Potters Inc. so we have created a topic for this group as well. We welcome more information about the members of both groups and their marks.
Illustrated: Juliet Widdows’ dragonfly chop and impressed mark.
Here are the topics added in October 2015:
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.