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91/160 Jug, stoneware, Les Blakebrough, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 1978-1979. Click to enlarge.

Stoneware jug by Les Blakebrough

Les Blakebrough, who had come to Australia in 1948 from England, joined the Sturt Pottery Workshops, Mittagong, NSW in 1957 as an apprentice to Ivan McMeekin. Blakebrough went on to become the manager of the pottery studios (1959-1972); then the director of the Sturt workshops (1964-1972); before leaving to head the Ceramics Department at the Tasmanian School of Art, Hobart. The Sturt pottery workshops, initially set up by Ivan McMeekin in 1953 at the request of founder Winifred West, became a well known training ground for the 'anglo-oriental' aesthetic, and also the development of a particular ideology towards local crafts education and studio production. Sturt Pottery used local clay, and was an innovator in Australia in the development of local clay bodies. This was a significant period in the growing studio ceramics movement in Australia where the 'anglo-oriental' aesthetic in stoneware, as propagated by the British potter Bernard Leach, continued to be particularly influential.

Blakebrough became an important figure on the Crafts Councils of NSW and Australia; and the Crafts Board of the Australia Council. His work is represented in the public collections of all State Galleries, as well as other galleries nationally and internationally.

The jug is historically and aesthetically significant with strong interpretive potential to demonstrate developments within the Australian studio ceramics and crafts movements. It links to other significant ceramic works in the collection of this period that also represent the 'anglo-oriental' aesthetic, including by Peter Rushforth, Ivan McMeekin, Harold Hughan and Bernard Leach.


Cochrane, Grace (1992). 'The Crafts Movement in Australia: a History' (Sydney: New South Wales Press)
O'Callaghan, Judith (1991). 'A New Direction: 1940-1980', in Bilney, Elizabeth (ed), 'Decorative Arts and Design from the Powerhouse Museum' (Sydney: Powerhouse Publishing)
Blakebrough, Les. 'About Les Blakebrough', at
Holmes, Jonathan. 'Les Blakebrough: Potter'
Exhibition catalogue essay - Cochrane, Grace (1989) 'Les Blakebrough', in exhibition 'Two potters three decades: Les Blakebrough and Carl McConnell'; Hyde Park Barracks 14 June 1989.
Holmes, Jonathan (1988). 'Les Blakebrough: A retrospective', exhibition catalogue.

Emma Lees for Paul Donnelly, Curator, Design, History and Society, July 2008


Object No.


Object Statement

Jug, stoneware, Les Blakebrough, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 1978-1979

Physical Description

A wheel thrown stoneware jug. The tall tapering cylindrical vessel has a flat base and swollen upper body which tapers with straight sides to a raised band at upper body then flares slightly to the rim. A large pulled pourer at front and a flat strap handle curves from back of the neck to lower body. Interior and exterior glazed with a speckled mustard/ochre coloured glaze decorated with brushed spriigs of leaves in black on two sides. The underside is unglazed.


Small 'LB' monogram impressed on the footrim. paper label with handwritten '1978-1979 / Blakebrough / Hobart D:20' adhered under the base.



235 mm


166 mm


131 mm


Credit Line

Gift of Dr Russell L Cope, 1991

Acquisition Date

9 April 1991

Cite this Object


Stoneware jug by Les Blakebrough 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 25 September 2020, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Stoneware jug by Les Blakebrough |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=25 September 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}


This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.