Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Not just Crown Lynn - get help to identify your pottery

If you would like to know more about a piece of NZ pottery - of any age or genre - drop into our FREE pottery clinic in Titirangi on Sunday 27 Nov between 1 and 3 pm.

Ev Williams, the co-founder and moderator of the NZ pottery website and I will be at the Learning Centre at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery (previously Lopdell House Gallery) holding the clinic under the umbrella of the Auckland Festival of Ceramics. 

Anytime between 1 and 3 pm,  just bowl in with your piece of pottery. If you have questions we will endeavour to help; if you just want to show us something special, then we will be delighted to have a look.  

Together, Ev and I have a formidable knowledge of NZ studio and commercial pottery including  Crown Lynn, Orzel, Beach Artware, Titian, Royal Oak, Studio Ceramics, Christine Harris, Keriblue - you name it! (she says optimistically).  Much of our wonderful NZ pottery is unmarked, but after decades of researach Ev and I can identify most of the makers and manufacturers. 

Ev has an exellent working knowledge of her fellow studio potters - she should be able to identify the maker of your interesting hand-thrown piece with the mysterious mark.

Don't be shy. We would love to see you and your pottery. And we will have some examples on display too.  Meanwhile, here are a few pics to whet your whistle:

Beach Artware - orange is very popular, but you also see Beachother colours including brown, green, and blue. It is very very very seldom marked. 

Brendan Adams which is becoming increasingly collectable.

Ev's favourite shino glazed pots from her extensive collection

Christine Harris from her days at Studio Ceramics - love those crazy egg cups!  The pattern at the right rear is called Belize.

 Kevin Kilsby - who is still making his delightful ware in Auckland.

 Bob Steiner - likewise, Bob still has a busy workshop and sales shop in Auckland.

Petra Ceramics, Stage Artware and Terra Ceramics.

Royal Oak

Daniel Steenstra for Crown Lynn

 Parker Pottery
Early Christine Harris

Etc etc etc etc!  There are millions of different pieces of our precious NZ-made pottery around. Let's find out as much as we can about it and feel proud!

Remember though that Ev and I are not valuers. We can give you an indication of the rarity and coolectableness of a piece, but neither of us are particularly keen on trying to estimate what it might be worth.

Thanks to Creative New Zealand for supporting this event.


  1. Hi Val, do you have a copy of each of your Crown Lynn books that I can purchase from you?
    Vanja Thomas

    1. Hi Vanja I do have a few copies left... as you probably know, both books are now out of print. I would charge $95 including postage to send you both copies. Let me know via email valmnk at gmail if you want to proceed. (note the spelling of my address - valmonk without the 'o')

  2. I have some ‘Pine’ by Dorothy Thorpe pieces. 6 each of large plates, medium plates, tea plates, dessert bowls and saucers. I have only 5 cups. There is a gravy boat and oval plate to go underneath also a milk jug in the style of the cups,(angled at the base). What should I do with all this if I were to decide to sell it please?

    1. Hello Pat. If you are on Facebook you could request to join the "Crown Lynn for sale" group, and notify your dinnerware's vailability. The alternative is TradeMe. Or you could offer it to a reputable dealer. For an online sale you will need to provide clear photos and a description of the condition - is it used and marked, are any pieces chipped or cracked, etc. If you keep an eye on TradeMe for a while first, you will see what Dorothy Thorpe ware is bringing. You can do a search for Dorothy Thorpe Pine. (Note that the ball handled ware is much more sought after than the standard NZ shapes which you have.) I hope this helps. All the best.

    2. You will also need to decide whether you want to sell 'pickup only' or courier the ware to the buyer, in which case you will need to find out how much that would cost before you list it. You are no doubt aware of the need for very careful packing to prevent breakages.