Swagman Pottery Pieces

– I somehow broke off the foot when collecting the figurine,  so upset and frantic I shopped online and finally purchased a replica from a woman called Shelia in country NSW, she express posted it to me.  When I confessed this to Kate, she told me the foot had always been broken off and she liked the figurine so much she didn’t mind. We decided to exhibit both- Amy.

Kate Robertson

Swagman Pottery Pieces

My Swagman Pottery pieces were made in Australia during the 1980’s. A Croatian couple who migrated to Australia in the early 1970’s started and operated the pottery business, which has since closed down.  On first glimpse, these pottery pieces kind of look tacky (smiling koalas on balconies, cuddly possums) but they do say a lot when you look at them longer.


They are a record of a couple’s migration and settlement to Australia, and doing what was necessary to make some money and integrate into a new society. They display tourism’s ongoing fixation (and our demand) for objects that display an optimistic record of one’s travels and explorations. They are also a record of contemporary society’s increasing obsession with the humanisation of animals. 


I have more Swagman Pottery pieces in my collection wrapped safely in newspaper and stored away in boxes, because I believe these pottery objects are modern day artefacts rather than just another crappy souvenir item.