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Paka mug, 1942, Briar Gardner or just blue-green ??? EmptyYesterday at 12:37 by Ev

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Paka mug, 1942, Briar Gardner or just blue-green ??? EmptyWed 19 Jan - 16:51 by VikiM


Paka mug, 1942, Briar Gardner or just blue-green ???

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Paka mug, 1942, Briar Gardner or just blue-green ??? Empty Paka mug, 1942, Briar Gardner or just blue-green ???

Post  Jeremy Ashford Mon 25 Apr - 20:55

**please note: this is an ongoing discussion. My reference below to this mug being by Briar Gardner represents only my (mis)underderstanding at the time of writing**

Paka mug, 1942, Briar Gardner.

I let a Paka mug go on trademe last month as I was not happy with the example at the offered price. I have had a month and more to doubt my decision but now I pleased that I didn't buy it.

As I was pressing my nose to the window of the NZ pottery cabinet in Brian Ronson's Epsom shop I spied this one. I dare say I'd seen it before but Saturday was the day. Brian had noted Briar Gardner's name on the ticket, and with known Paka history, a BG mark mark and the year 1942 that seemed right.

It cost more than the tm example plus post but was preferable for shape, date and maker. Brian also indulged me by letting me leave the store with an early Ambrico handleless (unmarked NZR-type) cup, at no extra charge, so I was very happy.
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9.5cm H x 7.7 OD top, red earthenware, blue glaze

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base marked Paka 4 2 BG EM NZ

Notice the two-finger pressing of the handle ends bringing them to points: it is a detail I like and have not noticed anywhere but on Paka mugs.

Elizabeth Matheson's superimposed-EM mark (the "envelope" mark) seems to appear on all the Paka bases regardless of who else's mark is there. I have no idea who did what on this piece.
.


Last edited by Jeremy Ashford on Tue 3 May - 8:44; edited 2 times in total
Jeremy Ashford
Jeremy Ashford

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Paka mug, 1942, Briar Gardner or just blue-green ??? Empty Re: Paka mug, 1942, Briar Gardner or just blue-green ???

Post  Ev Tue 26 Apr - 18:31

Briar Gardner's mark is her name written in script.
Ev
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Post  Ev Tue 26 Apr - 20:30

My thoughts are that the BG written on the base of this delightful mug are the glaze colours of Blue/Green. Many of Elizabeth Matheson's pieces have initials like this written on the base in her hand, nobody else.
Ev
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Paka mug, 1942, Briar Gardner or just blue-green ??? Empty Re: Paka mug, 1942, Briar Gardner or just blue-green ???

Post  Jeremy Ashford Wed 27 Apr - 9:38

Thanks Ev.
I'll put a "?" in the title and have a ponder what some of the other sets of initials might mean.

I have seen what appears to be the same colour glaze, which is quite common for PAKA, with various other initials.

I still have a piece of Briar Gardner in my wee 50c bowl, so at the least I have bought a good early Elizabeth Matheson.

Jeremy Ashford
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Post  Jeremy Ashford Mon 2 May - 21:08

This PAKA vase on trademe also has BG, along with three dots.
Supposing that BG refers to the glaze, could this be the same glaze brought to a higher temperature or fired for longer?

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Jeremy Ashford
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Post  Ev Tue 3 May - 5:24

Well done for noticing that Jeremy.
Because of that darn incorrect entry in the Potters Marks book they also say it has Briar Gardner's initials.  Grrrrrr!!!!!
This really needs to be dispelled once and for all time. I may have to make it my mission.
No I don't think it is the same glaze.  Crikey it's beautiful !!
The three dots seem to be part of the story and I have no idea what they refer to.
What someone needs to do is to record all of the glaze colours, the initials and the number of dots to try to work out what they mean. Around 50 pots would be good but 100 would be better Smile
Ev
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Post  Ev Tue 3 May - 8:21

I've started a Pinterest page just for the research of Elizabeth Matheson marks. I'm at work for the day but will add a link later and add more marks. From now on whenever I see a listing saying that the BG stands for Briar, I'm going to ask why they say this and I've done this on the auction above and you will soon see why I am concerned.
Ev
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Post  Jeremy Ashford Tue 3 May - 8:40

Just so you know Ev, that was indeed a serious question about the glaze as I have seen similar before. Here's some notes I made to myself on the Whangarei Heads Art trail this past Easter:

"Julie Cromwell was one of many artists with work on display at Parua Bay community centre. Julie works with earthenware, and also had some raku work on display. When I asked about the iridescence on a dark-glazed overburnt mug, Julie told me it was a bit of a mystery to her. Her larger turquoisy mugs, the same glaze but not overcooked, also had an iridescence but my choice was the smaller dark mug. Julie also wood fires on occasion so I am looking forward to that in the winter."

Julie didn't tell me what her glaze was and unfortunately it appears that I didn't photograph the turquoise mugs.

I did make one brief attempt at decoding PAKA marks when I thought one of the extra sets of initials could be Elizabeth Lissaman. I am aware of the Briar Gardner and Elizabeth Lissaman marks as I have work by both.

I look forward to the PAKA page.
Jeremy Ashford
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Post  Ev Tue 3 May - 10:00

Hahahaha I wasn't expecting that response.
Having potted for over 40 years I'm very aware of how heat changes glazes, but not to that extent Jeremy.
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Post  Jeremy Ashford Tue 3 May - 15:29

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overcooked mug by Julie Cromwell

Yes, this SHOULD be turquoise Ev. You can see how overcooked it is from the clay body which is burned almost purple. The glaze is still green-ish. The colour change in the Cromwell mugs far exceeds the colour range of the two PAKA pieces.
.
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Post  Ev Tue 3 May - 16:34

Wow that is radically changed. Earthenware shouldn't get fired high as it becomes brittle.
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Post  Ev Mon 9 May - 8:12

Just want to add that I was at Brian Ronson's when he purchased the Potter's Marks book from the Marks Gatherer, so that explains to me why he had Briar Gardner on the Paka mug label.
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Post  Jeremy Ashford Mon 9 May - 9:22

Small world, huh!
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