Posted 5 years ago
The dish was the first item that I bought here in Sydney over fifteen years ago. It bears a 'fish' mark beneath. On my travels I had seen the fish symbol for years and had wondered about its origins. A dealer friend Ken Neale had picked up a great dish at Surry Hills market ... a real beauty.
The fish image just remained in my mind.
Much later on did I discover the 'fish' emblem related to John and Edith Fisher.
Studio Fisher was a firm set up in the Sydney suburb of Glebe by two immigrants in 1954 : John & Edith Fisher. That was just four years after their arrival in Australia from Czechoslovakia. John Fisher was a self-taught artist and had learnt about ceramics on the job while working as a modeller and designer at some Sydney factories. In 1956 the factory moved south to the suburb of Kogorah in Banks St., making clip cast wares that were extremely innovative in design. The factory closed in 1959.
The decoration on my bowl and vase in these photos reminded me of the decoration on Stig Lindberg's wares from the mid-century. It is only recently that I have begun to understand the connections. But I can also see Italian references to Fratelli Fanciullacci and others. Perhaps Poole Popcorn too !!!
'Studio Fisher ceramics have a much of personality you may be vainly looking for in mass-produced articles ... beautiful shapes, contemporary decorations .... continental quality Australian made.'
This comes from the Fisher catalogue and may well have been written by their distributor, George Berger. George was quite a character ... he imported Orrefors glass into Australia and would have been aware of current trends in Sweden. Photos and designs from the Fisher catalogue are very similar to Swedish ceramic factories like Gustavsberg and Uppsala-Ekeby.
When the pottery closed John Fisher taught printing and 'creative thinking' until 1977. He was involved with early experiments in holography at Macquarie University and secured himself a teaching position at Sydney University, lecturing in art and creativity. He died in 1995