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Janet Kovesi-Watt

1936 - 2022

I started pottery as an assistant to a friend who had just opened a small studio pottery in a village near Bath (UK) in 1954, making earthenware slipware, which was widely made in England at the time. I made the press-moulded dish with a design based on an antique playing card soon after I came to live in Perth and joined the Perth Potters' Club (now Perth Studio Potters). I have enjoyed decorating with slip ever since, though no longer at earthenware temperatures. In the late 1960s high-temperature electric kilns became available. and then, with the arrival of natural gas in the 1970s, reduction firing became possible. Almost all the pots I make are designed for use, and I hope that my pots will give pleasure to the eyes, hands - and lips - of those who use them. I have been particularly fond of making teapots – mostly straightforwardly functional, though some are rather more fanciful, and I enjoy the challenge of creating a harmonious whole which works well in use. I was inspired by the traditional ceremonial “barge” teapots – large, dark brown, decorated with applied flowers, and perhaps mottoes or dedications, to make an Australian version. I imagined it as having cruised the oceans instead of English canals, and salt glazed it in my wood fired kiln.

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