70 Years at Sturt Pottery

70 Years Commemorative Plate

The Sturt Pottery 70th anniversary Commemorative Plate gets its design inspiration from the saggars made during Les Blakeborough’s time at Sturt Pottery. The saggar is a refractory clay form that allows for the vertical stacking of pots into an enclosed space, protecting the glaze from drafted fly ash during the firing. These historical saggars can be
seen stacked in the outdoor kiln shed. They are a delightful, simple ’vessel’ form and have caught the gaze of visitors for many years.

The design and production of the limited edition plate has been a shared project by Steve Williams and Jann Kesby, a trainee at Sturt in 1981/82 under the guidance of Ian Mackay. Plaster moulds taken from one of the saggars were used to produce the plates. Using their own studio clays, Jann and Steve each produced 35 plates. The plates were fired in Jann’s catenary wood fired kiln using timbers from Steve's property. Each plate has been stamped with an edition number 1-70 on the top rim and 1953 -2023 on the side wall. An ash glaze lines the plate interior which has an embossed Sturt Pottery logo featuring 'S' and a digger's pick. The plates were loaded in vertical stacks, mirroring the saggar stacks of early Sturt kiln firings and fired for 30 hours.

TERRA NOVA Exhibition Opening Speech by Bernadette Mansfield, Editor Ceramics + Perception
Sunday 28 May 2023

Read full transcript | PDF

Below, a Photo Gallery from the exhibition:

70 Years at Sturt Pottery commemorative plate


Handmade and fired by Jann Kesby & Steve Williams. Moulded on the historic saggars made by Les Blakebrough AM.

$110/each - to purchase, contact Sturt Gallery 02 4860 2083