Australian Pottery at Bemboka


In season 4, we took visitors back to the 1950s and 1960s. One wall was entirely devoted to Ellis Ceramics, a pottery set up in Melbourne in 1953 by Dagmar and Miloslav Kratochvil, immigrants from Czechoslovakia. Also on display was the work of other makers who, like the Kratochvils, adopted a mid-century sensibility characterised by natural shapes, simplicity of design, bright colours and abstract decoration.

These included Anita Aarons, Elsa Ardern, Beryl Armstrong, the Arthur Merric Boyd, Guy Boyd and Martin Boyd Potteries, the Becks, Braemore Carstens, Claudia Australia, Carl Cooper, Maigonis Daga, Karl Duldig, Dyson Studio, Elke Australia, John Fisher, Florenz, Gunda, the Halperns (Artur, Stanislaw and Sylvia) and their SYLHA range, Hanstan, Isobel, the Janebas, Eric Juckert, John Barnard Knight and his Janet Gray range, Allan Lowe, Betty and Gus McLaren, Vagn Nykel, Klytie Pate, Picton Hopkins, Reg Preston and Phyl Dunn, Rathjen, Frank Rock, Tom Sanders and his Dorian Sands range, Alma Shanahan and Charles Wilton.

The emphasis was on functional and decorative earthenware produced by commercial and semi-commercial potteries for post-war Australian homes. The featured form was the ramekin and we also devoted part of the display to fish.

Season 4

October 2012 to June 2013

Mid-Century Modern

The influence of European style on post-war Australian ceramics

Ellis Ceramics. Model 14 jugs

Illustrated: Ellis Ceramics. Model 14 jugs

Gallery notes

Functional stoneware and the philosophies of Bernard Leach dominated most of the decadeā€, wrote Frances Morgan of the 1960s in Pottery in Australia, 40/3, Sep 2001. This may have been true of Sydney, but Melbourne remained an important centre for earthenware until the late 1960s. More...


Posted on Australian pottery 1960s to date, September 4, 2013 by Judith

2012 -2013 opened with a bang with our River Music Fair, a most enjoyable event that brought the many friends and acquaintances we have made in the valley together for a day of music, art and culture, and forged our position on the Sapphire Coast gallery trail. Our Spring garden proved to be an attractive outdoor venue with the contours of the land lending a landscaped feel to the fledgling beds and trees. A hot and windy January with nearby bushfires set the garden back but it recovered and we noted a new maturity as the season closed. More...