PO Box 197, Margaret River. WA 6285  | +61 8 9757 9445 | ian@iandowling.com.au

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Ian Dowling, born in 1950 in Perth, began working with clay in the early seventies at Nedlands Teachers' College and later with Joan Campbell on the University of WA campus. He completed a Bachelor of Arts (mathematics) degree and Teaching Certificate and this led to teaching, first in the Pilbara and then at Geraldton. Meanwhile he kept a strong interest in a variety of clay working techniques, from oil and wood-fired stoneware to raku and salt-glaze.

In 1977, he began making pots full time, at first with Joan Campbell in her Fremantle workshop then later at Greenough to establish the Greenough River Pottery. He continued there until 1982 developing clay, glazes, and wood firing. At this stage of his work with clay, all materials were collected raw from local sources.

Ian and wife Beth then moved south working in and around Margaret River while building a house and eventually his own workshop. The Margaret River Pottery was originally established as part of The Old Settlement, a tourist development in the town of Margaret River. Ian built the pottery workshop himself from the clay alongside the riverbank extruded into raw mud bricks. The roof was finished with over 25,000 taper-sawn jarrah shingles cut from local sawmill waste.
While here Ian fired with gas in a large "top hat" kiln and developed glazes for the fine white commercial body. These included a smooth crystalline glaze that developed best in a very slow cooling kiln and chun blue in light reduction. Hot wax painting over iron is used to complement the colour.
In 1989, a successful exhibition of carved stoneware and porcelain by Ian was held at the Fremantle Art Gallery curated by the Fremantle Arts Centre. This was in conjunction with a painting exhibition.
While at the Old Settlement workshop, Ian had recommenced training young potters, something he had begun while at Greenough.
A new workshop and gallery space was built on the main street of Margaret River in 1992 and extended in 1995, again using extruded mud brick walls and a shingle roof with extensive use of jarrah in frames, doors and fittings. The workshop is well equipped with three gas kilns, enough wheels for four potters and space for hand building, slab work, glaze preparation and spraying area. As with all the workshops Ian has worked in, the interested public can see parts of the process continuing.
A balance has been achieved so that the connection between the work for sale and the potters responsible is obvious without interference in the process of making.

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