Members added 15 new topics to Australian Potters’ Marks in March 2016 and we also significantly updated the Robert Linigen entry. Phil Elson and Tom Sanders now have entries at last and so does the South Australian potter Neville Assad-Salha, although we still don’t have a record of his personal mark (images please if you have one of his one-off pieces). We were pleased to find an example of Samuel Crump’s work during the month. He is one of the potters from the 1973 directory, which included biographies but not marks, so it is good to have confirmation from the potter himself that he signed with an incised ‘Crump’ and used his middle name, John, while teaching ceramics at Ballarat Teachers’ College . As well as continuing to create entries for the seed potters from the directories, we are starting to find work by potters who have only practiced in the 21st Century. In an open-ended project like ours, there’s no reason to have a cut-off point so if any emerging potters want to have an entry in Australian Potters’ Marks please don’t hesitate to send us images of your marks.
Illustrated: Phil Elson’s double overlapping circle mark.
Here are the topics added or updated in March 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.