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Derek Smith, Blue Pot

Derek Smith: Blue Pot

The Artist

According to C20 Ceramics webpage on Vintage and Mid 20th Century ceramics, Derek Smith was already an accomplished ceramic designer and art teacher from the UK when he moved to Australia in 1956.

He set up a studio and kilns whilst teaching at Bowral High School near the Sturt Pottery in the Southern Highlands, NSW and collaborated with other artists in the area. Smith was then invited to teach at the Tasmanian School of Art and his exhibition at Domain House, Hobart in 1963 was the first exhibition of stoneware pottery in Tasmania. Altogether, Smith spent 2 year setting up the ceramics course in the Tasmanian School of Art  and  taught there until 1973. During this time, Smith also set up a studio in Beecroft, NSW.  Whilst continuing his own studio work, from 1973, Smith was invited to establish a pottery studio in the Doulton Australia factory. With a team of 6 staff, he designed forms using a variety of techniques ranging from hand thrown, the use of moulds and the use of a jolley machine to increase output.

Derek's skill as a designer and ceramicist were well suited to commercial production. Yet the venture with Doulton was not to last. When the factory was sold in 1976, Smith set up the Blackfriars Pottery in Sydney and became one of the largest and most successful potteries in Australia at that time.

Blue Pot by Derek Smith

The Work of Art

Blue Pot is a great example of Derek Smith's stoneware ceramic works. Created in 1975, Derek used a coil built method for the vase and decorated it with white and blue banded glazes with oxide. The effect is a 'sgraffito' pattern on the blue and white banded decoration.

Derek Smith's works of art are highly sought after and examples can be found in both private and public collections including the National Gallery of Australia.

Derek Smith pottery