In March, I finally bought a copy of Janet Kovesi Watt’s Perth Studio Potters : the first 50 years 1957 – 2007 (Cottesloe, Western Australia Perth Studio Potters, 2009). This is a detailed history of the club which began its life in 1957 as the Perth Potters’ Club and is still going strong. The book references over 200 names of potters who were members of the group in its first fifty years including office bearers, teachers and exhibitors. I’ve listed these in the Perth Studio Potters entry and added links for the 35 members who now have their own topics in Australian Potters’ Marks. (More information on any of these potters is welcome at any time.) As well as significantly updating the Perth Studio Potters entry, we added 17 new topics in March. There were a number of new finds and mysteries solved, and we completed entries for all members of the Halpern family.
Illustrated: The JKW variation of Janet Kovesi Watt’s impressed mark.
Here are the topics added or substantially updated in March 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.