Thursday, November 1, 2012
McCredie, Nell McCredie
Nellie (Nell) McCredie, (or Nen as she was called by her family) named after her mother was born in Concord, Sydney on the 27th of May 1901, there were siblings Robert, Allan, Ina and George. Nell was one of the earliest female architecture graduates from the University of Sydney. She studied under Leslie Wilkinson (1882-1973), first Professor then Dean of Architecture at the University and she graduated in 1923. She was a draughtsperson for the Sydney Harbour Bridge project before moving to Queensland to work for what was to become their Housing Commission between 1925-29.
Nell was the niece of George McCredie, an early politician in NSW who built the property “Linnwood” in Guildford, an innovative property for its time. Maybe this is where Nell got her love of architecture, because George’s brother Arthur was also an architect.
Nell returned to Sydney in 1932 and began making pottery with her brother Robert Reginald (Bob) McCredie , (b Epping NSW 1916-d Pennent Hills, NSW 1995) named after their father. Nell had studied with L.J.Harvey who was a significant figure in the development of the arts in Queensland. He was a remarkable potter and wood carver, it was Harvey's teaching methods that placed him as a central figure in the state's thriving arts scene. Lewis Jarvis Harvey (1871–1949) was the most important practitioner and teacher in the Arts and Crafts Movement in Queensland; he was a noted teacher, sculptor, woodcarver and potter and influenced generations of craft students.
She operated a pottery studio over a shop (now demolished) in George Street, opposite Wynyard Railway Station, Sydney, New South Wales. Nell also taught pottery at the YWCA. Potters Emily Bryce Carter c.1932 and Dorothy May Hope (Domay) c.1941 first learnt pottery at McCredie's studio. Nell’s work and that of her students was fired in the kiln at her home at 17 Stanley Road, Epping.
In 1933 or 1934 her brother Bob (Robert) McCredie (1910-1985) joined her. Together they made domestic ware for supply to gift shops and restaurants. Nell also made one-off pieces, winning the Arts & Crafts Society's Elizabeth Soderberg Memorial Award for pottery in 1947 and 1951. After Nell died on the 2nd of November 1968, Bob continued to operate the pottery until he retired in 1974. It is hard to say whether these were made by Nell or her brother because of the design.
Those of you who have been following this blog will have seen the Tremar ramekins on an earlier post. These ramekins look like they could have been made at Tremar. This pottery operated in Cornwall from 1962 and made earthenware that paid homage to their Celtic past. As I have said in other posts, design copyright was viewed somewhat flexibly by some Australian potters. This looks like another example.