Nice Jugs and Vessels from the SAM collection

Until - 29 Oct 2017

SAM’s display cabinet showcases 132 ceramic vessels that might be used to hold water. Selected from SAM’s extensive ceramics collection these jugs, flasks, vases and teapots, have been crafted largely by commercial manufacturers for utilitarian purposes.

Production companies showcased include Australian and British makers. Victorian makers include Bendigo Pottery (1857-) and Premier Pottery- Remued (1930s-50s); New South Wales based companies include makers such as Bakewell Brothers (1884-1955) and Diana Pottery (1887-); while Bennetts Magill Pottery (1887-) and Campbell’s Pottery (1881-1960) are representative of Adelaide and Tasmania respectively. British potteries include Crown (1847-1973); Shelley (1822-1971) and many more.

Produced between 1930s-1960s these nice jugs and vessels reveal a diversity of forms, artistic approaches and influences. The Australian ceramics are often identifiable by their high gloss surfaces, gestural glaze application and high octane palette of emerald greens, royal blues and earthy browns, as reflected by Premier Pottery-Remued’s earthenware jugs (c.1935) that display characteristic drip-glazes and expressive organic forms, while the three piece Canadian tea set by Bendigo pottery (c.1935) has a handsome brush applied majolica glaze.

By contrast, many of the ceramics from the United Kingdom are typified by matt glaze surfaces with a hand painted feel, a muted pastel palette is often combined with fiery orange. This is evidenced by the Middle Eastern inspired works by Empire Porcelain Co. that exhibit strong gradations of tone achieving a dappled ombré effect. Fluted jugs from the 1940s by John Beswick and S. Fielding and Co. reflect Art Deco influences with dramatically inclining pourers or angular stepped rims. By comparison, the Calton Ware earthenware vases of the 1960s epitomize the mid-century Modernist period. Their ovoid and spherical forms with concentric incisions evoke celestial bodies or planets, reflecting an obsession with futurism in the age of the space race.

 

Photo: Nice Jugs and Vessels from the SAM Collection install shot. Photo by Chris Hawking.