Studio Anna kitsch-fest

Studio Anna wall plates & salt and pepper shakers
made in Australia 1950s

I am particularly drawn to kitsch pottery that has landscape or botanical images…so souvenir ware from the 50s is right up my street! I have posted Studio Anna pottery previously- you might remember that it was situated right near where I now live, in inner-Sydney.

This very kitschy souvenirware was very popular in the 50s – and then it went out of fashion [in a big way] in the 70s and 80s. Rightly so, the appropriation – and kitschisation- of indigenous motifs was debated and condemned. Now, in this post-modernist era, enough time has passed and enough discussion ensued that we can now look on these very dated images with fondness and nostalgia.

The wall plates have a hanging device on the back, so they can be – hung on a wall; here the cities of Adelaide and Albury are celebrated.  The salt and pepper shakers celebrate Moree. A nice start to a Studio Anna collection.

This collection is for sale: $AU80

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Terra Ceramics ‘Patio’

Terra Ceramics ‘Patio’
made in Australia, c.1965

Terra Ceramics was a pottery run by Bernhard Fiegel, a Dutch-trained potter who immigrated to Australia after the second world war. Like much of my Australian collection, the pottery was in Ashfield [and then Greenacre]- very close to my own locale in Sydney. His pottery produced art pieces, under both the names Terra Ceramics and Terama. The pieces were hand-worked in shape, and then handpainted.

Terra Ceramics was proudly Australian, but I think you can see in these ‘Patio’ pieces, and in another collection ‘Daisy’ featured on this blog, that Fiegel’s Dutch heritage is evident in the motifs. Very modernist, and together with the asymmetrical shapes – very funky and very 60s!

The pottery produced art pieces from the early 60s to the early 80s, so was in production for less than twenty years. This set comprises a teardrop plate, a wall pocket-vase and a pair of – funky-shaped plates. Like many pieces produced in Terra Ceramics in the early days, these have a simple ‘Patio’ backstamp.

All pieces are in excellent vintage condition, and are for sale: $AU75

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Fowler Ware jug [sold]

Fowler Ware jug,
made in Australia 1930s

Fowler Ware created industrial pottery in Glebe, Sydney commencing in the 1840s. After WWI, Fowler Ware moved to producing pottery for the domestic market : their graduated pudding bowls & jugs were so popular that they opened a second pottery to cope with the demand.

This is a blue and white striped jug from the 30s; the blue and white colours resembled English Cornish Ware and were the premium pieces produced in the 20s and 30s. Every day pieces- ‘Cream Ware’ were made under the Fowler’ Utility’ label, while the blue and white pieces- coffee pots, pudding bowls and jugs- have a Fowler Ware & Sons backstamp.

This jug appears never to have been used: it is pristine inside and out. Quite a rare find.

The Fowler Ware jug is for sale: $AU75

50s Diana vases

Diana vases,
made in Australia 1950s

As you know, I collect Australian pottery made by Diana- the post-war pottery was situated very near where I now live in Sydney. I collect the ‘Australiana’ pottery in colours of eucalypt green and bark brown- but the same vase shape came in a multitude of colours to suit the changing interiors of post-war Australia.

Here are two posy vases- or ring vases- which display floating flowers [rather than stemmed flowers] and a small matching vase. The deep crimson and powder blue colours are SO 50s; but the geometric patterning on these vases harks back to the 20s and Art Deco. The same shaped vases were made well into the 70s, when they were handpainted [quite garishly, natch] with Australian flora.

Diana produced ‘art pottery’ from 1940 to 1975. The pottery is unique in that it only produced art and domestic pottery products, rather than having antecedents in industrial pottery. I have a number [she said, modestly] of Diana pieces featured on this blog; jugs, pudding bowls, ramekins, casserole dishes, platters, coffee pots…and vases.

This collection of vases is for sale: $AU75 [the small vase has original Diana sticker]

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40s Australiana

Diana vase
made in Australia 1940s

Diana made art pottery out of premises that operated in Marrickville, Sydney from 1940 to 1975. Unlike many other Sydney–based potteries of the time, Diana made only domestic and art pottery, rather than industrial items – capitalising on the huge demand for domestic wares with an ‘Australiana theme’.

This small vase is a double from my collection, so I am reluctantly parting with it. It was also manufactured in classic 50s colours [powder pink, baby blue] and also came in a lustreware glaze. This vase comes from the ‘Australiana’ collection; it is hand-painted in bushland colours; and it also came in a eucalyptus green colour. Because the vases are hand-painted there is quite a variation in the glazed colours: you can just see some green tones creeping into the bark-coloured brown tones.

The vase is in excellent vintage condition, and is for sale: $AU25

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Terra Ceramics lazy susan

Terra Ceramics ‘Daisy’ lazy susan
made in Australia, c.1965

The ubiquitous daisy- symbol of the 60s- is stylised and showcased on these Terra Ceramics pieces. Terra Ceramics was proudly Australian, and they have imbued their daisies with the colours of the bush-  olive greens, tans and browns. This set is a lazy susan: four segmented ceramic pieces lift out from around the central circular piece, with the whole lot on a burnished anodised aluminium tray. Which turns around – hence ‘lazy susan’.

The pieces are stamped “Terra Ceramics Australia, Terama hand painted”. It’s now unusual to find hand painted ceramics- and if you look at the five individual pieces you can see subtle differences in the hand-painters work.

I have also collected a matching Daisy ramekin, and Daisy salt and pepper shakers. The Daisy collection continues!

The lazy susan is in excellent vintage condition and is for sale: $AU75

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Pudding bowls [sold]

Fowler Ware pudding bowls,
made in Australia 1940s

Fowler Ware created industrial pottery in Glebe, Sydney commencing in the 1840s. After WWII, Fowler Ware moved to producing pottery for the domestic market : their pudding bowls were so popular that they opened a second pottery to cope with the demand.

This image shows the range of colours and sizes the pudding bowls were made in – and other posts evidence the rest! [I have collected a number of Fowler Ware pudding bowls….] The bowls and are still fit for purpose : I received a lovely christmas pudding made in one of these bowls- and after eating the pudding – I got to keep the bowl!

The large crimson and medium grey bowl are for sale : $AUD25 & $AU15 [or $30 for the pair.]

Hanstan mugs

Hanstan mugs, Australia, 1970sHanstan mugs
made in Australia, 1970s

Hanstan pottery was a collaboration between Hans Wright and Stan Burrage – hence Hanstan– that started in Victoria in 1962. The pottery continued to make domestic ware pottery well into the 1980s. All Hanstan pottery was hand-signed [in quite florrid, 70s style] on the base- as are these mugs.

Hanstan also made stoneware spice containers- with cork lids- I have featured some previously in the white/brown colourway.  These mugs are quite unusual since not many were made in the orange/brown glaze. [My gen y friend said they look like avocados…and- you know- he’s right!]

These [rare] mugs are in excellent vintage condition, and are for sale: $AU45

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Pates table vases

Pates vases, 40s-50sPates vases
made in Sydney, Australia 1946-1958

I have waxed lyrical previously about my love of the ‘Australian’ green and brown hues of Sydney pottery of the post-war period…and here are some more examples from my collection. Pates pottery operated out of Belmore- an industrial suburb of inner-Sydney, from 1946 and only ceased production in 1990.

Here is a selection of Pates vases in brown/green hues; two ‘lotus’ vases and a ‘log’ vase. Like many Pates vases, these shapes came in a variety of colours to suit the late 40s, early 50s décor. I decided my personal collection would be these ‘Australian’ colours [reminiscent of the bushland] – rather than the baby blues and powder pink or pastel yellow tones; but have rather too many to use or display now.

This set of Pates vases is in excellent vintage condition, and is for sale: $AU65

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Aboriginal motif kitsch

50s Aboriginal motif s&p, jugAboriginal motif salt & pepper shaker sets, and small jug
made in Australia c.1950s

While none of these items has a maker’s mark, the salt and pepper shakers at the back are possibly by Terra Ceramics, and the round shakers to the left are possibly Florenz Pottery. The small jug is probably Studio Anna. All these potteries were making tourist and souvenir pottery by the 1950s, and these appropriated [and westernised] indigenous motifs were hugely popular. Post war arts and crafts saw a rise in the popularity of Australiana – replacing traditional English motifs with ‘Australian’ themes; invariably Aboriginal motif works were black, tan and white.

This group works well as a set, or could form the basis of a larger collection. The items on their own are very kitsch…but somehow when grouped the kitschness is subverted into a subtler aesthetic.

This set is for sale: $AU125

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