Styling with retro vases

Pates Pottery vase

This fantastic vase was made by Pates Pottery, which operated out of Belmore, Sydney from 1946 -1990. As you may have noticed, given the tenor of the posts of this blog, being a Sydneyite I have an affinity for the potteries that were producing domestic ware in the 40s, 50s and 60s.

Pates’ designs and colours were influenced by the 1950s furnishing and domestic colour trends; and like Diana pottery [examples of which are in a couple of posts below] also produced work with an ‘Australiana’ colour glaze- brown and green – apparently reminiscent of the Australian bush. This nationalistic colour combination was very popular, and since I am a landscape architect, and quite fond of the Australian bush, I have tended to collect both Diana and Pates pieces in this colour range.

This quite deco-shaped vase has a removable ‘frog’ in the same glaze. The frog is shaped with holes to support flower stems at the angle required…in this image I have attempted some free-form Ikebana, with Banksia flowers. That’s the great thing about retro vases- they lend a certain gravitas to one’s attempt at flower arranging!