June Dyson

Started Dyson Studio in 1945 at Black Rock, Melbourne, wholesaling to Myer, David Jones and George’s department stores.

June Dyson trained at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology under Jack Bernard Knight.

In 1959, due to council restrictions, Dyson Studio moved to Gembrook with a shop onsite and continued in business at Gembrook until 1986.


The pottery used a range of incised marks in its two locations, mostly with Dyson in the name. These are documented in Geoff Ford’s Encylopedia of Australian Potters’ Marks.


ramekin incised “Dyson Australia”

Her son, Robert showed interest in the pottery, helping out in her studios from his early twenties. He began working on his own as a potter in 1979 and the successful Robert Gordon Pottery continues today near Pakenham.

Retro ramekins

Harlequin colours were popular for mid century ceramics

The overriding principle was ceramics should have “…the simplicity of a beautiful colour on a well studied form”.

Slip cast with harlequin interiors, these ramekins have external crazing consistent with age.

A short lived pottery, starting up around 1957 in Park Road Cheltenham, Victoria, the signature “Poole” is incised, but not clear on most pieces.

A new trend shortly after World War II and remaining popular until the 1960s, mid-century style and furniture is characterised by rounded shapes that are inspired by the natural world and simple designs that are functional for the home.

Both functional and fun, Mid-Century dinnerware could be the perfect collectible. With patterns boasting eye catching colours and clever inspired themes, these dishes can be as cool to use in your home as they are to hunt down affordably at estate sales and thrift shops.

Mid-century modern is a style that is timeless and sleek. Heavily influenced by the design concept that ‘form follows function’ mid-century homes and furniture are often characterised by their practical designs and beautiful craftsmanship.

The key to getting it right in your own home is by carefully balancing your mid-century inspired furniture with contemporary interior trends.

Hanstan

Mid Century Hanstan Pottery Ramekin Bowls with Thumb Handle

Hans Wright and Stan Burrage started a pottery in 1962 at Springvale, Victoria. Both had previously worked as salesmen. Hans had completed an art course at Melbourne Technical College, now RMIT University. Work was marked ‘Hanstan’ or ‘Hanstan Studio’ (incised).


A gift shop in Beaumaris sold Hanstan pottery, which was very
popular in the early 60’s.

These ramekins are Raw Sienna, one of the brown pigments most widely used by artists, since the Renaissance. This natural iron pigment takes its name from Sienna, where it was mined. Along with ochre and umber, it was one of the first pigments to be used by humans, and is found in many cave paintings.

After the partnership was dissolved in 1964, Hans and his wife Patricia continued the pottery at an industrial site on the Mornington Peninsula until well into the 1980s. Hanstan was on wedding lists in the 1970s.


David Jones ad in the Sydney Morning Herald, Sunday, April 29, 1984, p. 41 for “Hanstan black and white pottery canisters. Decorative or practical, with big cork stoppers. Choose one or a set for Mum’s benchtop storage. Six sizes from $9.95”

Hans Wright became Australia’s first international medalist (bronze) in the FITA World target championships in 1969 and was still competing at the 2002 World Masters Games.

Hans is a member of the Australian Archery Hall of Fame and was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 1979 for services to the sport of Archery. He joined the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) in 2009 as national coach, sharing his knowledge of the sport with participating school children. As national coach for NASP, he worked alongside teachers to improve their archery coaching skills and with the students in the program to help improve their technique.

NASP is sweeping the globe as a program targeted at students in years 4 – 12 that promotes the importance of education and physical activity. Originally launched in the United States, the concept has been rolled out in schools around Australia.

Martin Boyd

This pottery is instantly recognisable from the edge band of unglazed pottery, that always separates the two toned pieces. All Martin Boyd pottery was made [and signed] by hand, so there is a slight variation between any pieces in a set.

Guy Martin Boyd (1923-1988) was born in Murrumbeena, Victoria, where he learnt to make pottery as a child in the studio of his father Merric Boyd.

Guy trained as a sculptor at the East Sydney Technical College. In 1946, to help fund his studies, he set up the Martin Boyd Pottery in Cremorne with partners Norma and Leonard Flegg. In 1951, he sold his share of the pottery to Leonard’s brother Ronald and returned to Melbourne, setting up the Guy Boyd Pottery in Bentleigh in 1952. He and his wife Phyllis operated the pottery until 1964.

The Boyds are a famous Australian family of artists. Merric studied pottery at the Wedgwood Pottery and returned in 1919 to Murrumbeena, where he applied many of the techniques he had acquired in England. His pottery became highly popular. He held exhibitions and pottery demonstrations in Melbourne, and sold his pots through city stores such as Georges. He was described in one newspaper article as ‘The King of Melbourne Potters’.

Janet Gray

Large blue on white ramekin with crab, fish and starfish painting.

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Janet Gray Studio at South Yarra was established by John Knight and Isabel Grose.

John Arthur Barnard Knight (1910-1993) was born in Warracknabeal, Victoria. He studied art at the School of Applied Art at the Melbourne Technical School (now RMIT University), and production methods at the Hoffmann and Maribyrnong Potteries, and also worked in the studio of Napier Waller from 1932-33. After graduating, he joined the staff, teaching pottery, modelling and drawing. In 1939, he took charge of the Pottery Department. In 1940 he married Isabel Grose, one of his students, and they established the Janet Gray Studio at South Yarra. He served in the RAF from 1942-1945, then continued to expand the Janet Gray Studio and to re-organise the teaching of pottery at the school, establishing courses for the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme, and upgrading classes to certificate and diploma courses in 1949 and 1950. He is best known as an educator, continuing to teach at RMIT until 1975.

A ramekin is a small single serve heatproof serving bowl used in the preparation or serving of various food dishes, designed to be put into hot ovens and to withstand high temperatures. They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface. Ramekins are now used for serving a variety of sweet and savoury foods, both entrée and desert.

They are also an attractive addition to the table for serving nuts,dips and other snacks.