The lost potter – Maree Jones

The lost potter: Maree Jones

As someone who loves a rummage at a garage sale, I find it difficult to drive past one. I have a particular love of deceased estate sales as I find these the most interesting, as they provide an insight into the life of a collector, of an existence surrounded by all manner of objects both useful and not.

Early in 2020 I came across a garage sale taking place in an old house in Manly Vale on Sydney’s northern beaches. A middle aged white man was selling off his mother’s ceramics and inside the house, scattered across many rooms was a vast collection.  After some inquiry, he told me that his mother had been a potter and had made all of the pieces that were for sale.

Her name was Maree Jones and she had died only recently in her nineties. She had taken up pottery mid life and judging from the style of the pieces, she was a lady ahead of her time, with her ceramics appearing to have been influenced by both the avant garde and by primitive styles of pottery making.

Upon doing a Google search, I failed to find any trace of Maree Jones on the internet. I decided to photograph her pieces and create a body of work about them in the style in which they were made.

Photographed on a deep earthy brown, I have styled them with found objects both from nature and man-made, giving the viewer an opportunity to admire and appreciate the work of a woman who passed away with her work largely unknown. This way the pieces can be viewed by the world, admired by ceramics enthusiasts and subsequently the artist’s name lives on in some small way.