Australian Potters' Marks

Published by: Judith Pearce | 1-Feb-2016
Australian Potters' Marks is a freely available resource which aims to make the marks used by Australian potters freely available on the Internet. #australianpottersmarks
Studio ceramics have become highly collectable over the last few decades with the work of well-known potters like Les Blakebrough, Gwyn Hanssen Pigott, Col Levy, Milton Moon, Peter Rushforth and Bernard Sahm, to name just a few, now fetching quite high prices at auction. The marks of these potters are well documented: however, tens of thousands of other studio potters have practiced professionally over the last seventy years, producing fine work that deserves to be recognised as part of Australia's art and craft history. The memory of who made a pot can easily be lost, especially when collections are downsized and works sold to new buyers.

The Australian Potters' Marks project aims to make the marks used by Australian potters easy to find on the Internet. This huge, open-ended task has been a work in progress since its inception in 2012. The project uses two freely available social networking sites to gather and share the data. The index is hosted on Discussions about potters and their marks take place on the Identifying Australian Pottery group on Flickr, and Flickr also provides a means of sharing images and building a searchable and browsable image pool.

The seed data for the Australian Potters' Marks project was derived from printed directories published by the Australian Potters' Society from 1974-1996. 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. A large number of new entries have also been added by project members as they find examples of works and conduct research on their makers.

Potters, their families and heirs, collectors, curators, historians and, buyers and sellers on the secondary are invited to contribute to this knowledge base and to add entries and images as information comes to hand.

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