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Byron Temple in NZ

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Byron Temple in NZ Empty Byron Temple in NZ

Post  Jeremy Ashford on Tue 16 Aug - 17:00

I am looking for help with any information at all about Byron Temple's time spent in New Zealand.

Byron Temple was an important American potter, but if this mug I purchased last year was made here it might also be considered a New Zealand piece.

I bought it from Hamish, who rescued it from an Auckland opshop along with the three mugs by Ross Mitchell-Anyon that I have posted here: http://www.newzealandpottery.net/t7039-six-mugs-by-ross-mitchell-anyon#27663

To find the three RM-As together along with the Byron Temple seems an unlikely coincidence so I'm thinking that they arrived at the shop from the same source. It has been suggested that Temple may have made it in New Zealand.

I am having some difficulty finding details of Temple's presence here. Renton Murray has led me to believe he may have been involved in one of the Fletcher Challenge awards. Rob Barnard, in an essay in the Studio Potter, informed us that Temple "spent three months in Australia and New Zealand in 1991 and six months in New Zealand in 1994." http://www.rob-barnard.com/essays/6mak/makseven/

I'd like to think this mug dates from then.

Byron Temple (1933-2002) is considered one of the masters of twentieth century American pottery, but his reputation is international. His history includes apprenticeship to Bernard Leach at St Ives (from 1959) followed by a period with Colin Pearson at Aylesford (from 1961) before his return to America in 1962 to settle in to a life of production potting (5-10,000 pieces a year) and teaching. He managed St Ives pottery (from 1978) after Leach had gone blind. Temple finally settled in Kentucky, at which time he changed emphasis from large scale production of "functional pottery" to individual pieces. The Barnard article linked above gives the fullest history I have seen so far.
Byron Temple in NZ Temple10
7.5cm H x 73 OD top, the marks are positioned vertically opposite the handle

The colour is a consistent off-white both where glazed and unglazed. There are wadding marks and a pale blush on the base suggesting a wood firing. I cannot tell whether it is stoneware or porcelain.

Rick Urban has a Temple mug of similar shape and size that he brought over from America: https://image.jimcdn.com/app/cms/image/transf/none/path/s91ee7dc14b0255f6/image/i005d45e0c951f67c/version/1396064232/image.jpg

When I first saw this I couldn't help noticing formal similarities with a blue and yellow mug bought at the local hospice shop. I have since concluded that the coloured mug is the work of Ross and Kay Palmer: http://www.newzealandpottery.net/t5962-ross-kay-palmer#27646

See also: http://www.michenermuseum.org/bucksartists/artist.php?artist=352
Jeremy Ashford
Jeremy Ashford

Number of posts : 3144
Location : Whangarei, New Zealand
Registration date : 2010-09-11

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