Archive for the ‘Recommended Reading’ Category

Recommended Reading #2 – Artware to Utility – The story of Modern Ceramic Products and Mingay by Ted Impey

Artware to Utility - The story of Modern Ceramic Products  and Mingay by Ted Impey

Artware to Utility – The story of Modern Ceramic Products and Mingay by Ted Impey

When it comes to Australian pottery books there is a steadily increasing (although still small amount) quantity of publications entering the market place which is great to see. But all too often because these books are privately published they aren’t stocked on any of the large book retailers like Amazon. This means if you don’t know what to look for and where you might not know they exist.

Ted Impey’s stunning monograph Artware to Utility, the story of Modern Ceramic Products (MCP) and Mingay is certainly one of those hidden treasures.

Published in 2012 this 176 page tome is in my opinion the most comprehensive book on the life, times and most importantly for the collector the products of a single commercial pottery in Australia.

Comprehensively researched and illustrated throughout with colour photos of more than 800 pieces from the MCP, Mingay and PGH periods of operation and accompanied by over 100 black and white photos, original price lists, catalogues, advertisements, newspaper clippings, potter’s marks, and foil labels.

It simply cannot be overstated how valuable a reference guide this is for collectors of not only the wares of MCP but also for those with an interest in post war Australian pottery. For me the extensive and well photographed section on the wares produced Orpheus Arfaras alone is worth the price of admission. I confess to doing some serious drooling over those pages!

The book is a limited edition of only 500 and amazingly there is still copies available directly from Ted himself at for $75 plus $10 postage anywhere inside Australia.

In short this book is credit to Ted Impey and his tireless dedication to MCP and it’s story.

This book takes pride of place on my book shelf and is easily on my recommended reading list.


Posted: April 25th, 2014
at 6:36pm by Tim

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Categories: Australian Pottery,Recommended Reading

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Recommended Reading #1 – The People’s Potteries

Image courtesy of Dorothy Johnston

Image courtesy of Dorothy Johnston

Published in 2002, the result of nearly 10 years research, Dorothy Johnston’s first book “The People’s Potteries” certainly makes it to my recommended reading list for anyone collecting post-war Australian pottery. This 216 page hardcover book tells the stories of 24 of the most important and prolific semi-commercial and hobby potteries which came into being in Australia immediately after the second World War.

With this book, Dorothy tells the stories of the people behind these post-war potteries. Much of the information contained in the book is “from the horse’s mouth” (so to speak) and is taken directly from conversations with the potters and their relatives themselves. This book is certainly a testament to Dorothy’s diligence and thorough research and that, I think, is what really sets this book apart from others in the field.

The book tells the stories of Studio Anna, Brownie Downing, Casey, Cula, Diana, Delamere, Etta Easton, Studio Fisher, Florenz (Florence Williams), Nell Holden, Kalmar (AACP), Kemety, Little Sydney, Martin Boyd Pottery, Meroh, Daisy Merton, Geoffrey Merton, Nell McCredie, Modern Ceramic Products (MCP), Pates, Rohova, Grace Seccombe, Terra Ceramics, Vande, Laurie Fluss and others.

There are also chapters dedicated to the effect that imports had on these small businesses, themes and decoration, as well as a general guide to value. Not only that but the book is also richly illustrated with around 500 images including 70 colour plates, and reproductions of six original sales catalogues from Studio Anna, Diana, Studio Fisher, MCP, Pates, and Vande.

And now for the good news, unlike the majority of books on the subject of Australian pottery this book is still in print and available direct from the author herself through her website for only $100 + $10 postage and handling or only $140 including free postage when purchased together with her second book “More People’s Potteries” (which I will cover in a later installment of “Recommended Reading”).