Historical information

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

Elsa Ardern was living at Warrandyte in 1954 when she started studying pottery under John Bernard Knight at the Melbourne Technical College. In 1961 she was a founding member of 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.

Elsa Adern is known for her strong form of her pots, enhanced by her characteristically subtle wood-ash glazes. Her works are signed with an incised 'Elsa Ardern' or 'EA'. (http://www.australianpotteryatbemboka.com.au/shop/index.php?manufacturers_id=32)