Thursday, November 5, 2009

Klytie Pate, Potter, National Living Treasure

Klytie Pate with antiques expert, Gordon Brown
on a recent episode of ABC2's "Collectors" program

Klytie Pate (nee Sclater), Melbourne 1912 -

Klytie, potter, printmaker and teacher, is one of our national living treasures. She began potting in the 1930s and made her final piece, an owl ginger jar, in 1998. Renowned for her carved and pierced pots as well as her beautiful glazes, at an early age Klytie's interest in art was encouraged by her aunt, Christian Waller, who introduced her to an Art Deco style, theosophy and classical mythology.

L to R: Roosters Vase 1980, Decorated Lamp Base, Candlesticks

Klytie was one of a group of Melbourne based potters in the 1930s, now considered pioneers, who developed a style which laid the foundation for the evolution of ceramic art in Australia. Klytie married William Pate in 1937 and began teaching at Melbourne Technical College until 1945, when she resigned to become a full-time professional potter.

L to R: Jug 1940, Pierced work Lamp Base,
Owl decorated Ginger Jar, 1998
The lamp bases can be lit internally and in the conventional manner

Her first exhibition of pottery was held at the Kominsky Gallery, Melbourne, in 1941 and collections can be viewed today at the National Gallery of Victoria, City of Ballarat Fine Art Gallery and at "Beleura", on the Mornington Peninsula, where a wonderful collection of her work is displayed throughout this magnificent historic house. Klytie's work was purchased by John Tallis, a personal friend and owner of the house and after his death the Tallis family and Foundation continued to add to the collection.

Bowl 1940

The leading picture was taken when Gordon Brown caught up with Klytie at the National Gallery of Victoria just a few months ago. Below is an excerpt taken from the ABC's "Collectors" page.

"She is still very spritely and met up with Gordon at the National Gallery of Victoria. She tells him about what inspired her most over the years, while they walk amongst the Chinese ceramic collection. She spent many hours there as a student and it is easy to see how this collection has had a profound influence on her. Now that her work is so highly regarded and valuable, Klytie says she's sorry she didn't keep more!

The National Gallery of Victoria will be featuring a display of Klytie Pate's work from their collection from mid August (2009) until February 2010."


Gypsy Purple said...

Amazing...thanks for sharing...

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

What an amazing woman. Her work is lovely - I especially like the pierced lamp bases.

willow said...

She is new to me. Her work is amazing. I especially like the gold piece in your first photo.

Alaine said...

Gypsy, Bonnie, Willow, she is amazing. I love the lamp bases; I can imagine a light within and the patterns thrown around the walls.

Derrick said...

Hi Alaine,

Great work. I like the blue/green glazes. It's good that she knows how much her work is appreciated, even if she can't get a financial reward!

BTW, re my post on Durham choir girls. They will sing lots more often than a couple of times a year but the boys and girls will only sing together on the bigger occasions. Otherwise, each group will remain separate, singing with the men's choir.

Alaine said...

Hi Derrick, I was thinking the same; it must be a grand feeling to know that your work is appreciated.

Good to hear about the wee girls.

Maggie's garden said...

I love the simplicity of the 1940's bowl. That would be my favorite, although all of her work is amazing.Did you learn the value of her works from the ABC2's program? With such cool interests, and the remarkable detail she finds from within for each piece...I bet she'd be a blast to hang out with. Thank you for the inspiration today...I think I'll pull out some of my pottery pieces that have been tucked away for too long...although mine aren't quite as amazing...I value them anyway. Thanks Alaine great post.
Love, karen

Alaine said...

Hello Karen, nice to know your name; I knew that Maggie's Garden was named for your lovely dog!

Two days ago I thought I'd look under a vase that belonged to my late mother-in-law. She was an op-shop scrounger and would have bought it for about $1. I googled the name and found that it was made my another Australian potter, Eric Juckert and would be worth about $200-300!!

Lyn said...

The colors just melt..the open work on the lamp base is it wrong to want it? Blessings to Klytie Pate!

Alaine said...

Hi Lyn, it is fantastic work.

ruthie said...

What a talented lady, i hadn't heard of her before. i love the colours x have a great weekend x

Nancy said...

Beautiful work. I love the lattice work. Thank you for introducing me to such an incredible lady.

I love, love, love your header! Your blog is beautiful.

Alaine said...

Hello Ruthie, when I was researching her, I came across so many potters from the 30s, their works now held in high regard. You have a lovely weekend too and keep warm!

Alaine said...

Hello Nancy, thank you and have a lovely time with your daughter and little grandchild.

alaine@éclectique said...

I have learned recently that Klytie Pate died on 10th June 2010.