Historical information

Ailsa ADERN (1918-2006)
Born New Zealand
Arrived Melbourne 1942

Elsa Ardern arrived in Melbourne in 1942 to earn money for a trip to the United Kingdon. After marrying she settled at Warrandyte. In 1954, after her two children started school, Adern studied Pottery at Melbourne Technical College under John Bernard Knight. In 1961 she joined the Potters' Cottage at Warrandyte with friends Sylvia Halpern and Kate Janeba. She worked from a studio under the family home, exhibiting at the cottage and also through the Victorian Ceramic Group when it was set up in 1969.

In 1980 she established a workshop at Tathra on the far south coast of NSW, sharing her time between Tathra and Warrandyte for the next 25 years. Amongst the work made at Tathra were some very large pieces which she fired in the Stafford Brothers' wood-fired brick-kiln at Kalaru. Part of the clay for these came from the Staffords' clay-pits.

With Sylvia Halpern and Gus McLaren Ailsa Asern celebrated her long association with the Potters' Cottage by exhibiting in its 45th anniversary exhibition in 2003. 2.

Her works are signed with an incised 'Elsa Ardern' or 'EA'.

Physical description

Two thrown and handworked 'bottles' featuring verticle ridges on the edge of each form. Her pots are valued for their strong form , ed by her characteristically subtle wood-ash glazes.